The latest set of evening throughput figures recorded from dawn to dusk at Beitbridge supports the notion that the recent introduction of standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the border post is continuing to prevent congestion.
According to release data from the Transit Assistance Bureau (Transist) this morning, 318 northbound trucks were processed between 6pm and 6am this morning.
Of those, 307 were full and 11 were empty.
Southbound, a total of 535 trucks were processed – 233 of which were loaded with a further 202 being empty.
The figures unequivocally testify to the effectiveness of SOPs currently used at the border, such as separating transporters complying with preclearing requirements from those who aren’t.
The fact that Zimbabwean border staff are now on hand to work at night, having accepted that they don’t have to adhere to post-sunset Covid restrictions, underscores the necessity of having essential workers manning the busy border 24/7.
With regard to the separation of compliant cross-border operators from others, the figures of non-compliant hauliers removed into truck waiting areas also appear to be tapering off.
This serves to suggest that penalties recently introduced by Zimbabwe for idling at the border due to clearing documents and the like that are not in order, are having the desired effect.
According to Transist, there were 26 trucks waiting in the import yard this morning.
In the export yard there were only two.
And the queue on the N1?
Whereas the northbound lane south of the border was permanently gridlocked until recently, the SOPs and the new facilities run by concession company Zimborders Consortium are keeping Beitbridge free of the traffic chaos that had become synonymous with this crossing.