Sohar port, free zone gets truck appointment app

Container terminal operator Hutchinson implements flexible technology to maximise logistic efficacy

A glimpse of the truck appointment system (TAS) as viewed on a mobile phone.
A glimpse of the truck appointment system (TAS) as viewed on a mobile phone.

Oman International Container Terminal (OCIT) has unveiled a truck appointment system (TAS) and mobile app to help coordinate the movement of cargo and reduce the frequency of empty trips between Muscat and the Sohar port and free zone from as early as next month.

OICT/Hutchison Port Holdings has invested $184m in developing the terminal operations at Sohar and Albert Pang, CEO of Oman International Container Terminal, commented that the TAS is an important step in facilitating logistics across Oman’s bustling Al Batinah region.

“The TAS will provide a number of time and cost savings for logistics service providers and the broader Omani economy. Perhaps the biggest benefit will be the ability for drivers to monitor traffic flows remotely and schedule their arrival,” he said.

“This extra visibility should lead to better traffic flow in the port and on local roads as well as fewer empty trips between Muscat and Sohar.”

Oman’s logistics sector has grown rapidly in the past decade, and with increased investment aiming to create 80,000 jobs by 2020 the TAS is expected to make the industry more competitive.

Pang added: “The industrial and economic benefits of being able to consolidate the movement of cargo, include lower shipping costs and increased connectivity, which has the potential to enhance Oman’s existing competitive advantage.”

Truck drivers meanwhile have three routes to booking arrival times through the TAS: on the mobile app, on the website, or over the phone through the use of an Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) number.

He detailed: “We are aware of the need for flexibility and that the mobile devices drivers have access to will vary significantly.”

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