The Republic of South Sudan

South Sudan Cost-to-Market Report

Document Type

An Analysis of Check-points on the Major Trade Routes in South Sudan.

Background and Implementation

MoFEP, with financial support from USAID, commissioned a survey to quantify the monetary and time costs of authorized and unauthorized check-points along the major trade routes in South Sudan. This survey was implemented by SSCCSE in November-December 2010. Enumerators made 147 journeys in commercial vehicles along major roads in South Sudan and collected detailed information on the number and location of check-points, payment and time waited, and officials present.


  • Check-points are numerous. There are 4 check-points per 100km or 1 per 25km along the major trade routes in South Sudan. Check-points are more frequent on northerly routes: between Wau and War-a-War there are 7 check-points per 100km and between Wau and Aweil there are 6 check-points per 100km.
  • Payment is widespread. On all except one route surveyed, drivers made a payment at an average of 97% or more of the check-points they stopped at.
  • Payment is not confined to the international border posts. While the largest payments occur at the international borders, payment on internal routes can be up to 8% of the value of goods transported. Particularly significant internal check-points are Gumbo on the Nimule-Juba, Nadapal-Juba and Torit-Juba routes, Yei and Jebel Kujur on the Kaya-Juba route, Juba Bridge and Bor on the Juba-Bor route, and Gurei, Rumbek and Tonj on the route from Juba to Wau, Aweil and War-a-War.
  • Most individual payments are small. 47% of individual payments were less than 20 SDG and only 4% were more than 500 SDG.
  • Total payment is significant. For all but two routes surveyed, average payment per 100km exceeds 100 SDG. For more than half the routes surveyed, payment per 100 km exceeds 200 SDG. For 10 of 21 routes surveyed, drivers pay 4% or more of the value of items carried. Even on purely internal routes, drivers pay out up to 8% of the value of items carried. Payment is highest on the Nimule-Juba route at 7,026 SDG or 4,310 SDG per 100km. This is 15.4% of the total value of goods carried. Excluding customs payments at the international border, payment on the Nimule-Juba route is still 5.9% of the total value of goods carried.
  • Low value cargoes pay more as a percent of the value of goods transported. Payments for cargoes with value less than 5,000 SDG are on average 10.3% of cargo value where as payments on cargoes with value higher than 50,000 SDG are 4.1%.
  • Many payments are unreceipted. 47% of individual payments made during the survey were unreceipted. 27% of the total payment made during the survey was unreceipted.
  • Waiting times at check-points are high. Across all routes, waiting time is on average 2 hours 9 minutes per 100km or 65% of driving time. For all but seven routes surveyed, waiting time per 100km is more than one hour. For all but four routes, time stopped at check-points is more than 25% of driving time. Waiting time is highest on the Kaya-Juba route at 24 hours 32 minutes or 10 hours and 26 minutes per 100km, more than three times driving time.
  • The most commonly observed officials are police and traffic police, sighted at more than 50% of check-points respectively. In many cases, more than one type of official is present at a check-point.
  • The two major routes into South Sudan from Uganda are Nimule-Juba and Kaya-Juba. Average payment on the Nimule-Juba route is 15.4% of the value of goods transported compared with 4.9% on the Kaya-Juba route. Average time stopped on the Nimule-Juba route is 5 hours and 39 minutes compared with 24 hours and 32 minutes on the Kaya-Juba route.


  • Take steps against unnecessary check-points and unofficial payments.
  • Ensure coordination of revenue collection between states.
  • Reduce time spent at major check-points.
  • Improve administrative data collection and conduct a comprehensive trade survey.
  • Conduct regular follow-up surveys.