A driver for the Iraqi Transportation Network, an Iraqi-owned and operated logistics network, watches as containers are loaded onto his truck July 15, 2008, at Camp Liberty, Iraq.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Andrea Merritt
Private Trucking Companies Improve Iraqi Economy
By Army Spc. Andrea Merritt
Special to American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, July 24, 2008 – In another sign of progress in Iraq, 62 tribes and 68 sheiks have organized four private trucking companies to form the Iraqi Transportation Network.
The sheiks approached the U.S. military with a proposition for the ITN to haul their cargo throughout Iraq, guaranteeing safe shipment and taking financial responsibility for any loss. They chose people from their tribes to drive for the companies, and the U.S. military conducted background checks. More than 100 drivers were chosen, and 97 percent of them were approved.
The formation of the Iraqi Transportation Network is one of the first efforts in more than 30 years to build a private logistics company in the country. ITN moves low-value cargo for U.S. forces to and from different forward operating bases in Iraq.
“For Iraq, this particular form of logistics network is a key enabler for the Iraqi economy, so we’re seeding it with military cargo to get this going,” Navy Cmdr. Ken Titcomb, the ITN action officer for Multinational Force Iraq, said. “The goal is that, after a couple of years, their revenue will come from commercial services, not military. Hopefully it will end up driving a lot of jobs, and it’ll be a factor for economic prosperity in Iraq.”
The ITN has successfully hauled different classes of supplies in Fallujah, Asad, Taqaddum, Ramadi and Jordan.
Since the missions in that region have proven successful, network officials plan to expand their services to Multinational Division Center by September and to Multinational Division North by October, tripling the size of the network.
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