The Effect of Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking Systems on Cargo Safety at the Kenya Revenue Authority

ISSN: 2709-8575
Source: African Multidisciplinary Tax Journal, 2024 Issue 1

Abstract

The Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) was adopted by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to enhance cargo security and boost revenue collection. RECTS is aimed at addressing inefficiencies in vendor-operated Electronic Cargo Tracking Systems (ECTs) whose geo-fence routes can be manipulated, making it challenging to determine the exact location of the cargo. Their failure to send alerts on seal tampering and diversions has resulted in a substantial loss of revenue. This study sought to assess the impact of RECTS on cargo security with a focus on KRA customs operations. The study addressed the impact of RECTS cargo tracking on cargo security, the impact of RECTS cargo monitoring on cargo security, and the measurement of the impact of RECTS real-time response on cargo security at KRA. The research adopted a descriptive research design. The target population for this study was the 140 Rapid Response Units (RRU) and the Cargo Monitoring Unit (CMU) staff working at the five designated RRU stations along the Northern Corridor. Stratified simple random sampling was used to select 104 KRA staff to participate in the study. The primary data was collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire provided to the staff working at the five designated stations. Secondary data was collected from the records of the Cargo Monitoring Unit on incidents of theft, tampering and damage of cargo. The data was analysed using SPSS to compute descriptive and inferential statistics. The study established that the independent variables of cargo tracking, cargo monitoring and real-time response, significantly influence the dependent variable as they account for an 82.90 per cent variation in cargo security. The results of a multiple regression analysis established that cargo tracking has a positive and significant effect on cargo security (β1=0.873, p=0.000); that cargo monitoring has a positive and significant effect cargo security (β2=0.175, p=0.015); and that real-time response has a positive and significant effect cargo security (β3=0.222, P=0.000). The findings of the study revealed that cargo tracking enhances the security of the cargo by deterring cases of cargo diversion and by providing the exact location of the stolen, damaged or tampered cargo enabling the Rapid Response Unit to locate the cargo and resolve the situation immediately. Cargo monitoring enhances cargo security by providing real-time alerts in respect of cargo seal tampering which minimises the tampering that previously occurred during changeover of seals at border points. Additionally, real-time response enhances the security of cargo by reducing the time taken by the Rapid Response Unit to respond to and resolve cases of theft, tampering and cargo accidents during transit.