Tuesday, June 22

Using tech to improve Africa’s logistics industry

Poor infrastructure is currently holding back the growth of Africa’s logistics markets.

Industries can make a variety of goods, but they struggle to transport them safely and quickly to customers without established networks.

According to global property consultancy Knight Frank, the cost of transport takes up 50-75% of the retail price of goods.

But there is hope, from both foreign investment and home-grown solutions.

For example, in Nigeria, digital start-up Kobo360 developed an app that revolutionises cargo delivery by making sure that everyone in the supply chain is connected to ensure the safety and accountability of cargo in transit.

A call centre of staff is able to monitor truck deliveries enroute in real-time and communicate directly with drivers, manufacturers and distributors, aided by GPS satellite positioning.

Kobo360 has only existed for three years, but such is the problem of getting goods safely delivered to distributors that many of the continent’s conglomerates are now signed up as clients.

Logistics expert Olufemi Ransome-Kuti says that solutions like Kobo360 have a knock-on effect of benefiting other industries as well, such as agriculture.

At the moment, farmers in Nigeria only expect about 50% of their produce to be delivered to distributors or buyers in a sellable condition.

“When they are able to get similar spoilage from source to destination, it will encourage them for the next season to build more capacity into their farm,” Mr Ransome-Kuti told the BBC. Continue reading

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