This week on Marketplace Africa, CNN International’s Eleni Giokos explores the changes taking place within Kenya’s haulage industry to streamline the process of transporting goods across the continent.
Infrastructure challenges can often lead to long delays at the Port of Mombasa. The programme meets truck driver Andrew Kiingi who frequently waits two days at the port for his cargo to be released. He speaks about the process, “You have to do that waiting. It’s part of work. You have to wait. That’s the way.”
Transportation inefficiencies aren’t just an inconvenience, they cost money. George Kidenda, the Managing Director of Freightlogix Kenya Ltd., talks about the impact of the inefficiencies, “I would say that trucks lose sometimes up to 40% of their time waiting for cargo. Without efficient and effective transport, economies stagnate.”
E-logistics start-up Lori Systems is hoping to utilise technology to circumvent these issues and deliver value to its customers. The company has created a platform where transporters and cargo owners can access real-time information on the location of trucks and the availability of goods, enabling businesses to know when there is cargo nearby to pick up after making a delivery. Lori’s co-founder and CPO Jean-Claude Homawoo tells Giokos about the company’s use of technology, “We are able to source cargo, and make sure that we are minimising the number of empty trips.”
The company hopes to impact haulage logistics across Africa in the same way ride-hailing apps have revolutionised the taxi industry. Homawoo describes Lori’s growth strategy, “The vision for growth for Lori is that the value of the marketplace and the network increases with more participants. So, the more we have trucks available in the regions, then the more cargo owners we have on the platform, the better it is for both sides.”
By reducing the impact of inefficiencies, Lori Systems’ technology will open up the industry to more people. Homawoo explains the positives for small businesses, “A big benefit of making transportation a lot more efficient is that we can also make trade a lot more inclusive. Smaller farmers can actually now afford the cost of transportation from their farms to wherever the market is.”
Homawoo believes that streamlining the processes of Kenya’s haulage industry will have positive impacts for African products across the continent and around the world, “Making transportation more cost-effective will make African goods more affordable in local markets and more competitive in international markets.”