Abu Dhabi steps up regulation of road freight sector

New rules require companies to submit details of transport managers and fleets to the Department of Transport

PHOTO: The DoT expects tighter regulation of the freight sector to increase investment in the field. Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport (DoT) has stepped up regulation of the freight transportation and logistics sector in an attempt to boost safety, local media reported.

New regulations introduced by the body require freight operators to submit details of their transport managers and fleet when requesting a no-objection certification (NOC) from the DoT. The NOC is required for any company intending to renew their trade license in Abu Dhabi.

Firms can visit the www.freight2030.ae website and fill in the required information before going to the Department of Economic Development to renew their licence.

The new rules will affect over 3,000 firms and include minimum safety standards, The National reported. This will improve road safety and professional standards of the freight and logistics sector, said Ahmed Al Hammadi, acting director of freight transport at the DoT.

Inspections carried out by the department on 500 vehicles in 2013 found that 60% of trucks on Abu Dhabi roads failed to meet safety and maintenance standards.

As part of efforts to boost road safety, the DoT is also looking to combat driver fatigue by regulating how many hours drivers work.

The freight masterplan, launched by the department last year, contains regulations limiting drivers from working overtime, said Osama Tomeh, consultant at the Freight Planning division of the DoT.

While the maximum driving time for truck drivers in the UAE is 10 hours, almost half of 517 drivers surveyed by the DoT reported working more. “This significantly increases the risk of fatigue-related accidents,” Tomeh said, quoted in Gulf News.

Apart from safety concerns, a major factor behind the implementation of new policies in the freight and logistics sector is to encourage investment in the field.

“When our freight transport sector is reliable and trustworthy, investors can be sure that their commodities will be safely taken from point A to point B without the risk of road accidents. If there was such a danger, then they might have to invest elsewhere or get insurance, which is costly,” Hammadi said.

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