Choose your language

The intricate dance of logistics in Dakar
Senegal | Dakar

The intricate dance of logistics in Dakar

29 Jan 2024 · People

With a fleet of 70 tanker trucks, IRU New Industry Shaper Balai Sakho, the Director General of Senegalese company “Transports Ibrahima Sakho”, is driven by an unwavering commitment to quality and a personal relationship with the sector.

What attracted you to hydrocarbon trucking?

It’s in my blood. My father was in the hydrocarbon transport business. 

I grew up fully immersed in the business and did internships at my father’s company. This is where my passion for trucks and the intricate dance of logistics all started. It has guided me to where I am today.

What does Transports Ibrahima Sakho specialise in?

Transports Ibrahima Sakho specialises in hydrocarbon transport. We share the transport market for TotalEnergies Senegal’s hydrocarbon products with six other companies, out of which we have the second biggest fleet.

What’s your role?

I oversee operations, ensuring that our fleet of 70 tanker trucks consistently provides top-tier hydrocarbon transport services.

I have a wide range of responsibilities, from managing operations and driver training to implementing a comprehensive environmental, health and safety management system.

What is your best quality for this job?

My role has both an operational side − leading pilots, chairing meetings and setting priorities – and a more personal side of training and coaching drivers. 

I think my best quality is my relentless quest for safety, which demonstrates my flexibility to combine both sides. People are the most important element for us. We strive to prevent accidents at all costs by supporting our drivers and implementing rigorous quality measures.

What do you value the most?

I greatly value human capital. We put a lot of emphasis on training and further developing our drivers’ skills. Our teams attend training centres, both in Senegal and abroad in countries such as France and Tunisia, that are specialised in hydrocarbon transport.

The intricate dance of logistics in Dakar
The intricate dance of logistics in Dakar
The intricate dance of logistics in Dakar
The intricate dance of logistics in Dakar

How do you prioritise staff well-being?

We are very fully committed to our employees’ well-being. Beyond fair and competitive wages and comprehensive social care plans, we maintain open communication with our employee representatives. I host monthly meetings to ensure that everyone is heard. It is important that our sector receives the respect and recognition it deserves.

How do you think you are changing the profession?

Through our efforts and commitments, we have set a high bar for other companies to also move the industry towards a safer future. 

For example, our environmental, health and safety management measures have been certified according to internationally recognised standards since 2020. We hope that it inspires others in our industry to maintain a high level of professionalism and well-trained teams.

What challenges are your facing?

It is obvious that the transport of dangerous goods has its risks. In addition to our traditional extensive theoretical and practical training, we have now integrated new technologies to mitigate those risks. All our trucks use geolocation. We have a dedicated tracking room to ensure real-time monitoring and analyse defensive driving, routes, and driving and rest times. Leveraging new technological solutions certainly helps to realise our vision of a safer industry in Senegal.

What would you say to younger people who are unsure about joining our sector?

This sector demands dedication, knowledge and experience. It can be difficult, especially early on, but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

If you are on the fence, I would encourage you to take a leap of faith and join this vital industry.