KALONDE NYATI, Lusaka
PARATUS Telecom says the adoption of internet-based business strategies is crucial for the survival of the customs clearing and freight forwarding industry.
Company sales executive Andrew Shaw said the industry needs to keep pace with the fast-changing world of international trade by adopting internet-based business strategies to remain competitive in marketplace.
Speaking at the Zambia Customs and Forwarding Agents Association (ZCFAA) business leaders’ strategic meeting, Mr Shaw said clearing and freight forwarding companies need reliable internet services to ensure efficiency.
“We understand that there are enormous problems with connectivity at the borders. After consulting with many of the clearing and forwarding, and logistics companies, it is clear there are serious delays at the borders. A field trip to Chirundu showed us that digital communication was part of the problem,” Mr Shaw said.
He said Paratus Telecom, which is the largest privately-owned pan-African telecoms operator, recently installed a new point-of-presence (POP) in Chirundu to provide stable internet connectivity to enable clearing agents; importers and exporters to access Zambia Revenue Authority’s Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA) system for handling customs procedures efficiently at the border post.
ASYCUDA is an internet-based system that enables customs authorities and traders to handle customs procedures electronically for quicker declaration processing.
Mr Shaw told business leaders that clearing and forwarding firms need more reliable internet to save costs and meet the growing demands of their services.
“Time is money. Trucks standing idle are costing the industry and the country dearly. Improving the standard of connectivity is part of the solution.
“It is also important to understand your office requirements when it comes to how much bandwidth you need. Demands from the ASYCUDA and NAPSA (National Pension Scheme Authority) systems mean proper and stable internet is a must,” he said.