The logistics start-up Saloodo! launched its platform for shippers and transport providers in South Africa, bringing the first digital road freight platform to the region.
The intuitive and simple-to-use digital solution was first launched in 2017 in Germany and is now also represented in the UK, Italy and Poland. Moving swiftly into emerging markets outside of Europe, the subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Group was introduced in the Middle East just six months ago and continues now on its growth path by offering its digital services in Africa.
An efficient road freight network is a key conduit of trade within a geographically wide-spread country such as South Africa but also with 16 landlocked countries within Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, much of the region’s road freight operations remain fragmented and highly traditional, missing out on the visibility, efficiency and security that technology offers.
“After successfully entering the Middle East we have taken the decision to continue on our growth path by expanding to the African continent,” said Thomas Grunau, CEO of Saloodo! “As the world’s youngest continent with 60% of the population below 25 economic decisions and growth are increasingly driven by a dynamic generation of digitally-minded young adults. These are ideal conditions for offering and further developing our smart solution.”
With South Africa as its launch pad into Sub-Saharan Africa, Saloodo! is the first digital platform available in the region that offers a single, simple and reliable interface for shippers and transport providers to best optimize cost, routes, cargo and transit times. Backed by DHL’s global and regional footprint and expertise, all contractual relationships on the platform are organized via the existing local DHL entity, providing trust and peace of mind to carriers and shippers alike.
“With real-time visibility, Saloodo! will inject greater transparency and efficiency to the road network in the region, enabling shippers – from small enterprises and start-ups to large multinational groups – to find trusted and reliable freight carriers in South Africa. This will in turn help carriers manage existing fleets and optimize capacity with full truckload shipments,” added Tobias Maier, CEO of Saloodo! Middle East and Africa.
With a market value of R 121.1 billion (~€7.5 billion) in 2018, road freight volumes in South Africa have been increasing steadily, exhibiting a growth of 5.6% in June 2019 when compared to the previous corresponding period. Equally, intra-Africa exports already accounted for 26 percent and 12 per cent of South Africa’s 2018 total exports and imports respectively – almost 50% of which are with neighbouring countries in this landlocked region.
Collectively, the service has grown to more than 30,000 shippers and over 12,000 carriers covering 35 countries