Estonian border service GoSwift awarded OECD Transport Achievement Award

Narva border crossing between Estonia and Russia. (RIA Novosti/Scanpix)
5/21/2015 10:56 AM
Category: Sci-Tech

The smart border crossing management service GoSwift has won the 2015 Transport Achievement Award by the International Transport Forum (ITF).

GoSwift operates an innovative queue management service at the Estonian border crossing points. The service allows vehicles to pre-book time slots online, over the phone or at self-service terminals for crossing the border from Estonia into Russia.

The service was developed as a response to the problems created by traffic jams of vehicles waiting to cross the EU border from Estonia into Russia. Until the start of the border queue management service in 2011, vehicles queued for miles before they reached the border crossing point. Waiting times at the border reached five to six days during peak season, with negative impacts on drivers of mostly heavy goods vehicles, but also businesses, tourists and local inhabitants.

Since the introduction of GoSwift service, waiting times have decreased from an average of several days to around 30 minutes. Drivers can book their crossing time via multiple channels, all available around the clock in English, Estonian and Russian, and they can choose to be informed of their waiting time via text message. Real-time information on the number of vehicles waiting offers drivers the opportunity to decide on a different journey via another crossing point where the waiting time is shorter.

Thanks to the electronic booking system and the controls put in place, illegal trade has also been reduced, as it is easier to identify where procedures have not been followed and to trace illicit trade.

The ITF is an inter-governmental organisation within the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) system. It acts as a think tank for global transport policy issues and organizes an annual summit of transport ministers.

S. Tambur

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