April 27, 2015
African roads have often been seen as death traps due to the high cases of road carnage. Globally, African countries post the highest accident rates with Kenya’s statistics reflecting an annual loss averaging 3000 lives on the Kenyan roads.
In as much as measures have been taken by the Kenya government to reduce road carnage and enforce sanity on the roads, innocent lives continue to be lost on a daily basis. In response to Kenya’s poor road safety record, transporters have taken proactive measures to provide a lasting solution to preserve road safety. These include; full-fledged safety departments, adopting safety technology as well as running various driver wellness and cargo handling programs to safeguard all road users.
Siginon Global Logistics is a source to doorstep logistics provider that has been in the transport sector for 30 years. Today, Siginon’s transport fleet has expanded its Kenya and Tanzania operations to serve regional customers within the Great Lakes region, East and Southern Africa. The growth of the trucking division has been greatly boosted due to the high safety standards adopted in the transportation division. Job Kemboi, the Transport Manager asserts “All new drivers joining the Siginon trucking team must undergo defensive driving training before they are allowed to proceed on any road trip. It is a mandatory requirement. Through this, we are able to minimize and reduce cases of road accidents that cause loss of life, cargo and the vehicle”
The seriousness of road safety in the transport industry has seen some companies go as far as to establish fully fledged Safety and Security department led by a qualified resource at management level mandated to run a rigorous safety program on the ground. Siginon Global Logistics conduct such safety programs that run throughout the year for all drivers. Mathew Kavehere the Siginon Global Logistics Safety Manager adds, “We have regular safety programs that cater for the drivers’ performance while on the road such as; safety, tool box, defensive and fatigue management meetings for all our drivers. These programs run all year coupled with regular refresher meetings.” In addition, the Siginon drivers are equipped with additional information to cater for vehicle inspection compliance as well as accident preventive maintenance. Due to the varied and delicate nature of the cargo that is ferried by road, the Siginon drivers are further trained on handling of various cargo such as dangerous cargo, lashing equipment and the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS).
Siginon Global Logistics has also adopted various safety systems and technologies to monitor that all drivers observe high standards of safety while on the road. These systems are able to track the location of the truck in real time; monitor the speed of the vehicle as well as the driver behavior while on the road. Mathew adds; “We are able to monitor the truck speed by installing speed governors which are limited to 75 km/h which in the interest of safety is 5 km/h less than the statutory speed limit requirement. We can also monitor the position of all our trucks within our operations at any time on a need be basis. We are also able to tell any delays of our trucks both during loading and offloading. In addition, the Siginon fleet management systems are able to monitor the trucking fleet to control or minimize idle time by checking on the driver’s position depending on how long they take at a particular place. Mathew concludes “These systems have managed to help us monitor speed, harsh breaking, truck performance and delays. Also there is a reduction in terms of statistics of various violations and accident since the system was installed. Drivers are also more focused because they know their performance is being monitored and are focused on delivering cargo intact and ultimately give our clients peace of mind.”
Job attributes the success of the Siginon’s positive safety record to commitment by the management team to ensure that there is zero fatality within our business units. “Any road accident or incident is taken very seriously in Siginon. Immediately an accident occurs it is reported to the relevant parties and our Managing Director must be informed within the shortest time possible. Three things must be done immediately, establish the state of the driver, client’s cargo and then our asset which is the truck. The accident is reported to the nearest police station and immediate recovery is undertaken to evacuate the victims in the scene of the accident as well as rescue of the client’s cargo and the truck”
Siginon Global Logistics often sponsors annual road shows on the Northern Corridor between Mombasa and Malaba on road safety in partnership with other industry players and stakeholders. Amongst her peers, Siginon continues to take the lead against her peers on ‘mystery user’ road safety audits conducted by a leading multinational cement company based in Mombasa. The Siginon Global Logistics recently received a safety standard sustainability award by one of her commodity customers due to high safety standards maintained while on the road.