Impact of Traffic Congestion on Supply Chain Performance in the Buea Business District: Case Study Buea
|TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS|
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This work has the main objective to investigate the impact of traffic congestion on supply chain performance in Buea District. The descriptive survey research design was implemented and Data was collected from 100 respondents or participants from the population in Buea Municipality through a self-administered questionnaire which was established using a Likert scale of five points. Data were analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences 21 Version for descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation analysis was further used to estimate the parameters of reliability and validity of the relationship between traffic congestion and economic development in Buea Municipality. Furthermore, this analysis was adopted to test the hypothesis using a 5% level of significance. Our finding shows that traffic congestion was significant at a 5% level of significance. In addition to that, a 5% change in the independent variables will lead to a positive change in the same amount of supply chain performance in Buea District. It was therefore recommended that Based on the above findings, the following recommendations were made; More streets should be constructed within the town for easy supply of good, taxi drop up and, pick up points should be created for the collections of goods, road order of movement should be maintained and obsolesce cars should go off-road.
Keywords: Traffic Congestion, Supply Chain Performance
In recent years, economic environment, companies are making the strategic decision to expand their supply chain management to include international/global resourcing. Global supply chain provides a source of competitive advantage as they provide access to cheaper labour and raw materials, better financing opportunities, larger product market, arbitrage opportunity and additional inducement offered by home governments to attract foreign capital and also in transportation when it comes to logistics as stipulated by (Lages, 2010).
Transport is one of the key sectors of the economy. It plays a vital role in the daily activities of economic development. It catalyzes production, as it facilitates the movement of inputs to production points and for storage or marketing. Its role is essential for all aspects of the social and economic life of society (T.Goyal, et al, 2011). Transportation, especially road transport, is a basic necessity for people after lunch and shelter.
Furthermore, traffic congestion has been a critical challenge in many cities across the world. It engenders a range of undesirable consequences that include negative economic impacts and environmental pollution (Rao, 2012). Many South African cities suffer from this challenge. Particularly, the central business districts (CBD) of several large and medium cities of the country are observed to be affected by the congestion challenges during different periods of the day. Kimberley city of Northern Cape Province of the country is a typical; example. The city, because of its unique physical, spatial, road network, economic characteristics, and requirement of mobility of heavy vehicles in addition to the normal city traffic experience critical traffic congestion challenge in its CBD area, particularly during peak hours. Consequently, issues such as loss of economic benefits because of increase of travel times of vehicles in mining activities, delay in travel and change of travel pattern of local people for the day to day activities, environmental pollution, and higher consumption of fuel and anxiety of people to travel top CBD area during business hours have emerged (Rao, 2012).
In addition, experiences of different policy interventions such as the creation of additional road infrastructure, Travel Demand Management measures, reinforcement of public transportation system, congestion pricing, encouragement of non-motorised transportation system, limiting parking facilities, etc., which have been tried in different cities of the world suggest that, these solutions have met mixed successes.
Besides, the creation of infrastructure, enforcement of certain constraints and restrictive measures and change in mobility behaviour, which is sometimes unacceptable by people and also incurs huge investment, making such projects economically unsustainable and socially unacceptable. This warrants acceptable and cost-effective remedial measures to alleviate the traffic congestion challenges in the city (Sorensen et al., 2008;).
However, before evolving remedial interventions, it is necessary to assess the level of traffic congestion and reasons thereof; understand the perspective influence of the solutions that could assist in evolving strategies to meet the challenges (Sorensen et al., 2008;).
Therefore, the objective of this work is to explore the causes and degree of traffic congestion on the roads in and around the CBD area; and examine the impact of plausible re-engineering measures to alleviate the challenge.
Notwithstanding, with an efficient, safe and affordable transport system that offers the option of different modes of transport, accessibility to basic needs can be improved; many costs can be saved; productivity can be increased, and thus human and economic development can be improved.
In addition, the reduction of pollution, the reduction of necessary transport spaces and the improvement of road safety lead to an improvement in the quality of life (Robin and Wytse, 2011).
In addition to that,(Pacione et al.; 2005), argued that inefficient and ineffective transport systems significantly limit economic development, social opportunities and social interactions. Access to affordable a good quality public transport is essential for the urban population since its absence generates economic, social and physical isolation (Department of International Development, 1999).
The problem seems to affect low-income communities in suburban areas with inadequate access to public transport and other basic urban infrastructure (Hine, Olvera et al, 2003). In general, transportation is essential for development because, without physical access to resources and markets, health, education and other social services; quality of life suffers, growth stagnates and poverty reduction cannot be maintained. Motorized transport, with its corresponding negative impacts, contributes greatly to creating an imbalance between the three aspects of sustainable development: economic growth, social progress and environmental protection (Robin and Wytse, 2011).
The demand for transport especially in cities of developing countries has been on the increase following the rapid socio-economic growth and development of these countries. For instance, the rate of motor vehicle ownership and use is growing faster than the population in many places, with the vehicle ownership growth rates rising to 15 to 20 per cent per year. (Odeleye 2008). Traffic management has been quite poor in many developing countries, despite the growth in transport demand and supply.
The resultant traffic congestion has become an impediment to our liability. Road traffic congestion, according to (Goodwin 1997), can be defined as the impedance vehicles impose on each other, due to the speed-flow relationship, in conditions where the use of a transport system approaches its capacity. ( Banjo 1984), also defined congestion as the saturation of road network capacity due to regular and irregular reductions in service quality exemplified by increased travel times, variation in travel times and interrupted travel. (Olagunju2011), simply described road traffic congestion as a disproportion between the inflow and the outflow of vehicles into and out of a particular space. This is also in line with (Ogunsanya2002), the conceptualization of road traffic congestion as a situation when urban road networks could no longer accommodate the volume of traffic on it.
As supply chains performance continues to become more complex there is an interesting need to incorporate effective supply chain management and establish disruptions mitigations strategies in traffic congestion within a company. Identifying supply chain risks and predicting traffic congestion can help a company within its supply schedule. Unfortunately, not all distributions are predictable. How a company handles the disruptions during and after their occurrence can greatly influence the outcome of the disruption and its effects on the company and brand.
In a nutshell, this work envisages the causes of traffic congestion and mitigation strategies with a focus on developing countries and Cameroon as a mirror, using the South-west region, the nation’s economic nerve centre and one major corridor of Buea district as case studies.
Longer supply chains due to globalization have increased the pressure to envisage good performance in many companies in Cameroon specifically Buea District. Due to the increasing volatility of global markets and the complexity of supply chains, companies in Buea Municipality face huge challenges. These challenges also include good reaches suppliers at the appointed time due to traffic congestion as stipulated by (Narasimhan et al, 2002). The traffic congestion has revealed structural weaknesses which affect supply chain performance.
Furthermore, Buea is a fast-growing town of Camerooneconomy; road traffic congestion is a headache and a burning problem for public and private institutions; and the inhabitants of the city in general. Congestion in the city is associated with an increase in vehicle queues and poor accessibility to work and homes, especially in the morning and afternoon hours. Serious traffic congestion is observable between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. (the time that most workers go to their workplaces), the hours between 12:30 and 2:00 p.m. lunch breaks) and the hours between 03:00 and 08:00 p. m. Based on these facts, it can be established that the majority of workers and people in general report verylate in theirwork stations, such as offices, markets, schools and hospitals. This meansthatsomemay report on time, althoughverytired and stressed, and othersmay not. Others face the problem of a few hours of sleep due to earlyawakening and latesleep, wasted time in queues, overtimework and a few hours to restat home afterwork.
However, the loss of time off-road vehicles due to traffic congestion is determined based on more or less estimated queue lengths, congestion periods and average queue speed (Hansen, 2000). It is clear that people in Cameroonspent more time in traffic queues than in other transactions. In general, transportation in Nigeria is chaotic, inefficient, unreliable and dangerous. It negatively affects society, especially the urban poor, through loss of productivity, inhibiting human development and reducing the quality of life. It is said that all these complications and problems that most employees and people in the general public encounter in varying degrees and circumstances are directly associated with the congestion of existing road traffic.
In a nutshell, its economic impact remains largely unknown and is probably not well documented, so to speak. Consequently, the objective of this research was to examine the impact of traffic congestion on supply chain performance in Cameroonspecifically Buea district.
The background and problem above formulation lead us to the following research questions. The main research question is thus, “what is the impact of traffic congestion on supply chain performance in Buea district?
Other specific research questions are outlined below:
Which occur as coursed by traffic congestion that affects supply chain performance in Buea District?
What is the relationship between traffic congestion and supply chain performance in Buea District?
Which policies have been adopted or put in place to reduce traffic congestion?
The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of traffic congestion on supply chain performance in Buea District.
The specific objectives are:
- To analyze the mental/physical issues caused by the traffic congestion that affect supply chain performance.
- To examine the relationship between traffic congestion and supply chain performance.
- To identify policies that may need to be put in place to reduce traffic congestion and improve supply chain performance.