In progress

Optimising import and export processes in the agri-food sector

Automating practices and improving data sharing

Get involved

Developed from the ground up with Moroccan government agencies and businesses, this project aims to cut the time and cost of trading agri-food products by automating and digitising processes to address two major border issues.

First, trucks pass several different service points at the port of Casablanca which are all characterised by manual processes and truck waiting lines. The data is often recorded manually on paper slips and taken by hand to those who need it, for example for calculating import duties or the load balance for a ship. This leads to traffic congestion in the port area, which is a major issue when trading perishable agri-food products which are sensitive to time and temperature.

Second, traders importing or exporting plants or plant products must acquire a paper phytosanitary certificate to show that the material is considered free from pests and that it complies with plant health regulations. In Morocco, as in most countries, these paper certificates accompany the shipment or are exchanged by post with trading partners. This makes for a lengthy process, where any errors take a long time to rectify, and there is a risk of loss, damage or fraud.

What are we doing

Alongside multiple Moroccan border agencies and local and international agri-food companies, our project is:

  • designing and introducing an ePort solution at the Port of Casablanca capable of tracing truck movements throughout the port and exchanging automated data at key service points; and
  • supporting Morocco to introduce electronic phytosanitary certificates, or ePhytos, and join the “ePhyto Hub”, an initiative led by the International Plant Protection Convention Secretariat, which will allow them to electronically exchange ePhytos with trading partners quickly, accurately and at low cost.


Putting in place an automated identification and data exchange system will:

  • make the flow of goods more efficient for the terminal operator, the cargo inspection company, the road transporter, the clearing agent and the trader
  • benefit the government and its agencies through higher levels of compliance and the introduction of efficiency gains, matching physical flows with digital information

The use of ePhytos will:

  • mean certificates are transferred between parties quickly, accurately and at low cost, reducing the time and cost burden on both traders and border agencies
  • reduce the risk of loss or fraud, helping ensure any threats to plant health through trade are stopped in their tracks
  • pave the way for Morocco to exchange other types of data with trading partners

Overall, the project can also help drive food security by preventing shipments of food getting stuck and spoiled at the border.


We have conducted a baseline study using our Total Transport and Logistics Costs (TTLC) methodology, which measures both direct and indirect transport and logistics costs.

Once the project is complete we will measure the time taken for border compliance for agri-food imports and exports using the weighing process and/or ePhytos to assess our impact on time and cost of trading. We will also look for evidence of wider benefits for society such as increased opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises.

How can the private sector get involved?

We are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities, including identifying international best practice, providing technical expertise to design the new systems, piloting the new systems, collecting and sharing data, and delivering training.


The project will be implemented in three overlapping phases over 28 months.

Phase 1



Phase 2

10 months

Analysis and design of new processes using international best practice

Phase 3

17 months

Piloting, delivering training and launching new systems

Get involved

Find out how to get involved in the wider Alliance by clicking the boxes to the right.

Contact us in Morocco