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Google-backed firm plans trucks, warehouse logistics ecosystem for Africa

By Waliat Musa
15 September 2022   |   3:33 pm
In its bid to bridge the widening gap by companies in accessing trucks and warehouses across Africa, a Technology Company backed by Google, Haul247 said it would establish a logistics ecosystem that would meet the demand.

In its bid to bridge the widening gap by companies in accessing trucks and warehouses across Africa, a Technology Company backed by Google, Haul247 said it would establish a logistics ecosystem that would meet the demand.

The Chief Executive Officer of Haul247, Sehinde Afolayan said in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday that the ecosystem will operate like the ‘Airbnb’ for trucks and warehouses.

He said that logistics has been recognised as the key to unlocking Africa’s commerce potential, pointing out that currently, the logistics industry in the continent remains fragmented, with informal carriers operating over 80% of the market with one to three vehicles

He said that Haul247, a Google Black Founders’ Fund grantee, was set up to among other things, address the supply-demand mismatch since the ecosystem lacks the capacity to optimize itself.

Afolayan, who has over a decade’s experience in the African supply chain business, believes there is an urgent need to bridge this gap.

“Most companies cannot accurately predict and forecast since different vendors handle transportation and warehousing needs. This makes it hard for them to control, distribute and plan their logistics requirements effectively,” He said.

“In response to this, Haul247 was birthed to be the “Airbnb” for trucks and warehouses in Africa. Haul247’s value proposition is simple- a unique platform offering opportunities for clients to transport and store their goods in one logistics ecosystem.

“Most manufacturing companies in Africa concentrate their manufacturing hubs in one city and move or distribute their products to other cities and towns across the countries. Typically, truck owners charge manufacturers and shippers exorbitant fees since they have to absorb the empty return leg.

“With Haul247, the system matches orders with available assets with our ‘Airbnb’ approach for trucks and warehouses. Partners are assured of reverse hauling, and shippers are charged less than they normally pay; this reduces transportation costs and guarantees efficient asset utilization,” he said.

Afolayan, who founded the firm alongside Tobi Obasa and Akindele Phillips during the Covid-19 lockdowns of 2020, stressed that any solutions to logistics in Africa that do not solve warehousing challenges will be more costly, inefficient, and risky.

He said that the company had already onboarded 14 enterprise and FMCG businesses and also has over a thousand trucks on its roster, with about 150,000 square meters of warehouse space available across multiple locations.

“Over the next five years, Haul247 is looking to expand into other African countries. It is also working to upgrade its technology and integrate with key logistics ERPs to serve clients and partners better.

“Ultimately, we want to bring about increased efficiency in the logistics industry across the continent, improve trade mobility across African cities and commercial hubs, and provide better storage and financial products for our users,” Afolayan said.