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#BizTrends2018: Startups shaking up the sector

The logistics industry is in the midst of one of the greatest revolutions in history, thanks to digitisation, technology advancing at such a rapid pace, and business owners adopting new, forward-thinking, collaborative business models. It's incredible to see how this is enabling more and more startups to find a place in the sun alongside some of the giants in the industry.
2018 is bound to be a year where logistics startups continue to shake up the sector.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

As PWC puts it in its Shifting Patterns: The future of the logistics industry report:
Platform technology has given rise to new business models, often driven by startups that enter the logistics industry. New ‘sharing’ business models could have as much of an impact on the sector as new technology. And the industry’s current customers and suppliers may end up being the biggest new entrants.

The PWC report further states that ‘sharing’ is big in the logistics sector now: "From Uber-style business models to last-mile delivery, to more formal joint ventures and partnerships at corporate level, the whole sector is redefining collaboration." 

A quick search for some of the noteworthy logistics startups that arrived on the scene recently paints a picture of what we can expect going into 2018, with technology changing practically every aspect of logistics, collaboration clearly being key, and innovation leading the way:

  • Drivers NG: A transport-tech company, with a focus on training, verifying, and outsourcing the best drivers to individuals and organisations, Drivers NG engages in recruiting, vetting, and training drivers to meet a variety of needs that clients may have such as corporate drivers, personal drivers, sales van drivers, truck drivers, drivers for Uber, etc.

  • Pargo: Pargo is addressing last mile delivery challenges in South Africa by allowing users to send and receive parcels at dedicated pickup points throughout the country.

  • Buddibox: Funded by the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Buddibox is operated by youth from within the community who are trained to become micro-entrepreneurs (Buddis), earning their own cash, delivering FMCG goods for the family shopping basket, from toiletries to fresh produce.

  • EmptyTrips: EmptyTrips is Africa’s first smart online transport marketplace connecting transporters, brokers and shippers for cargo. It opens the market and region for trade by enabling smart transport. Using integrated systems and algorithmic matching, EmptyTrips connects spare capacity on vehicles to those who need goods transported. This way, transporters and companies reduce costs.

    Tech disruption hits SA road freight industry

    Following the lead of tech innovators in the taxi industry, South Africa's road freight sector is reportedly set for a similar shake-up.

    4 Apr 2017

  • Max: In 2017, Nigerian e-courier startup, Max launched a new on-demand motorcycle transportation service, MAXGo, in Lagos, addressing the city's road traffic congestion. Originally launched in August 2015 as an e-delivery platform, it has evolved within the space of two years beyond logistics to provide mobility solutions, now focusing on both package delivery and people transportation.

  • WumDrop: WumDrop, which is available in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban, allows users to request the pickup and drop-off of packages via their phones.

  • Droppa: Droppa makes it easier and safer to transport household goods and furniture, with customers accessing its screened drivers through its website and mobile apps.

  • Zulzi: Zulzi has morphed into an on-demand delivery platform which enables anyone to order groceries, liquor and pharmaceuticals, and get their order delivered to their door within an hour. The mobile app is available on iOS and Android, and allows users to see and order from all the stores within a six kilometre radius.

  • Bwala Africa: Logistics marketplace, Bwala Africa has launched in Kenya, allowing users to hire cars, trucks and delivery vans and source for repairs, service and maintenance from trusted dealers and mechanics.

  • Iyeza Health: Iyeza Health started off as a bicycle courier company to ease the burden of medicine collection for its community. It is now a fully-fledged medical logistics company, servicing customers nationwide.

  • uGoMyWay, CarTrip, and JumpIn Rides: Carpooling and ridesharing are becoming viable, economical ways to get around, thanks to new transport platforms such as uGoMyWay, CarTrip, and JumpIn Rides.

And that's just some of them.

If we look at this plethora of new players in the transport and logistics sector, it's safe to assume that this trend will probably continue well into 2018.

There's an opportunity for those smaller businesses that are flexible and agile and who are ready to leverage technology to solve current logistical challenges.

View more transport and logistics trends in our BizTrends2018 special section.


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About Ilse van den Berg

Ilse is a freelance journalist and editor who loves all things related to travel, wine, cars, and entrepreneurship. She is also the editor of Go & Travel, a platform connecting all the stakeholders in the travel & tourism industry. From 2010-2014, her beat was Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com. Then she had a 2-year adventure in Italy after which she returned to Bizcommunity as the Motoring, ICT, and Logistics editor. She decided to try the freelance thing as of August 2018 and she is still a contributing writer for Bizcommunity. You can check out her work here, here, and here. In her spare time, she's probably surfing, hiking, or travelling. Contact Ilse if you require any writing or editing services on (note .co NOT .com) or or find her on Twitter.