Digital freight forwarder Saloodo!, a subsidiary of DHL Global Forwarding, the leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services, this week launched its digital logistics platform for shippers and transport providers in South Africa, bringing the first digital road freight solution to the region.
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 logistics technology offers.
“Digital transformation is a top priority for the industry and given the demographics, we expect demand for digital transformation to be driven by emerging markets globally,” said Tobias Maier, CEO of Saloodo! Middle East and Africa.
“Africa is the world’s youngest continent with 60% of the continent below 25. This is a dynamic generation of digitally-minded young adults, demanding smart, digital solutions both on the business and home front.”
With South Africa as its launch pad into Sub-Saharan Africa, Saloodo! is the first digital logistics 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,” Maier added.
With a market value of R121.1 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 % and 12 % of South Africa’s 2018 total exports and imports respectively – almost 50% of which are with neighboring countries in this landlocked region.
The intuitive and simple-to-use platform was first launched in 2017 in Germany to connect companies and transport providers within Germany or from Germany throughout Europe.
Moving swiftly into emerging markets, the digital freight service was introduced in the Middle East just six months ago where some 350 shippers are already registered. Collectively, the service has grown to more than 30,000 shippers and over 12,000 carriers covering 35 countries. During this time, the trucks managed by Saloodo! have travelled a total distance of 18 million km, which is equivalent to approximately 450 round-the-globe trips or more than 23 voyages to the moon and back.