Small piece weights occupy in trade and logistics
Weights and measures permeate all aspects of human life. Yet we tend to take tools for granted.
Weights and measures are a huge industry that drives the global economy.
Time, size, distance, speed, direction, weight, volume, temperature, pressure, force, sound, light, and energy are some of the physical properties for which humans have developed precise measurements.
According to Nicholus Kithinji, managing director of Avery East African Ltd, a company that builds scales, most people don’t understand the importance of weights and measures.
In logistics, weights and measures are generally used to determine freight rates; either in metric tons or cubic meters. In commerce, they are the biggest determinants of profit and loss.
âWe face many challenges when confronted with the credibility of weights and measures systems,â Kithinji noted.
âMost of the time, the challenges outweigh the cost in terms of the losses that occur. However, Kenya is quite well developed in this sector. We are slowly moving from mechanical weights to digital weights and software.
In general, weights and measures ensure fair international trade in products and services, a fair assessment of the value of products subject to taxes as well as consumer protection.
There is international law that governs weights and measures. This is called the law of metrology.
In ordinary business transactions, the law ensures that when selling a commodity, the quantity delivered to the buyer is not less than the quantity contracted and paid for.
This not only saves the merchant from avoiding losses, but by protecting the consumer from fraud, it also improves the purchasing power of consumers.
According to Kithinji, unscrupulous traders and carriers have always tried to circumvent the parameters of the law, causing confusion in global trade and logistics.
âYou will find people who import cheap and inefficient scales and get them stamped. It affects the market and hurts consumers, âhe said.
âConsumer protection policies are still not strong. The government should intervene.
He further noted that without confidence in the way goods are weighed and measured, trade would be subject to multiple measures, which would create disputes.
The additional cost of these multiple measures and the resolution of these disputes would significantly affect the efficiency of trade and jeopardize the economy.
Legal control of measures is also important to ensure that a society remains healthy; a component of consumer protection.
According to Kithinji, a clinical thermometer or blood pressure instrument that is not properly tested can lead to a misdiagnosis and incorrect medication leading to death.
Measuring axle load on trucks to control overloaded vehicles minimizes damage to roads resulting in reduced road fatalities and public road improvement and maintenance costs.
In ancient times, measurements were largely manual. The mechanical systems were very easy to operate. But as technological advancements continue to shape modern commerce and logistics, measuring machines are automating.
Industry experts say the sector is still developing and has a long way to go to realize its full potential.
Kithinji pointed out that the automation of systems is essential in order to limit the human interface and also to obtain real-time controls.
âFor example, we have weighbridges that can measure speed as well as exhibit driving habits. They can take pictures, do axle weights, no matter where the truck is in the country, âhe said.
âVehicles, like transport infrastructure, have been designed to support a certain weight which, when overtaken, has a ripple effect of tearing and wear. If you are carrying excess weight, it affects tires that have been designed to support a certain amount of weight. Breaks will also be affected, which can put the driver at risk. ”
According to him, an overloaded truck directly affects the taxpayer, who is also a consumer, in terms of taxation.