By Alfred Sasako
A rejuvenated Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) has installed a $2million miniature sensor at the Honiara Port, cutting out cheats and saving millions of dollars in export revenue for the Government, it was revealed this week.
The investment has put SIPA in a class of its own. With it SIPA has become the only regional port in the South Pacific to have installed the Weigh-In-Motion (WIM) sensor, a senior Management officer told Island Sun.
WIM was developed by Quartz Riz, a Malaysian company, which was engaged by SIPA to install it at the Point Cruz Ports. Company technicians are in Honiara, overseeing WIM’s trial runs, while truckies and other Ports users are undergoing training to familiarise themselves with the operations of the new electronic system.
By installing WIM, SIPA has also fulfilled a compliant issue required under the Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention, which accords safety its highest priority.
The senior official said that with WIM now in place, SIPA has news for those who might want to outsmart the system.
“WIM will take care of cheats, provide safety of cargo handling in terms of weight and a much faster for those clearing their cargo from Point Cruz ports. At the same time correct charges are paid base on their weight.
“The little fella also takes care of exporters and others to pay SIPA the correct fees based on weight rather than guess work as was the case in the past,” the officer said.
According to the officer, WIM is embed in the concrete in a designated route for vehicles entering and leaving the Ports security area. It is linked to two overhead cameras.
“As the vehicles enter the area, their details including vehicle registration numbers, weight and costs are automatically recorded and printed for the driver to see. It’s a very efficient system because drivers no longer have to go through the weigh bridge, which takes a much longer time as it had to be done manually.
“For now some delays would be experienced. But as soon as everyone is familiar with how it works, delays would be a thing of the past,” the official said.
“WIM is fully automated and there is no waiting time – something that is very important for business people. It’s good for us, it is good for port users and it is good for the government. It’s a win-win situation.”
The official said safety in cargo handling is the underlying consideration for the installation of the machine.