Connect with us

Tech

Logistics challenges facing eCommerce in Africa Article by Josephine Wawira

Published

on

ecommerce

According to Euromonitor, the world’s fastest-growing economies by 2030 will be in Africa. This consequently makes the continent the next big e-commerce market. And as this positive narrative continues to place Africa as a top investment destination, the need for advanced logistics systems has become inevitable. The growth of e-commerce will significantly depend on the quality and efficiency of logistics networks; from intra and cross trade to financial transactions in payment of goods and services.

When writing the African e-commerce story, I often leap at the chance to explore only the enviable milestones the continent has made. Nevertheless, there still exist formidable challenges especially in logistics, a vital constituent of the industry. The African Development Bank, in its 2019 African Economic Outlook, notes that“trade costs due to poorly functioning logistics markets may be a greater barrier to trade than tariffs and nontariff barriers”. This side of the story must also be told; if we are to find sustainable solutions to what could be the gateway to growing Africa’s e-commerce by leaps and bounds.

Unsatisfactory National Address Systems and Transport Infrastructure

One of the biggest logistics’ hurdles holding back the industry is the lack of proper national address systems in most African countries. This, coupled by poor road networks, make it even harder to conveniently deliver products to customers. Consequently, companies have had to rely on fairly descriptive addresses and landmarks provided by the customers during the initial stages of the online purchase process. The delivery persons are also required to keep in constant contact with clients when delivering products, to receive further directions while en-route.

While generally Africa’s infrastructure lags behind that of its counterparts including America and Europe, it is worthy of note that each country has its own value proposition. In 2018, the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index placed South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, and Côte d’Ivoire as the top 4 best-performing countries in Africa, while Somalia, Sierra Leone, Eritrea and Zimbabwe were at the bottom 4.

Also Read:  Photo News: Visa Launches "m Visa"***The new way to pay

In most African countries, the result of the poor road infrastructure is heavy traffic jams that lead to delayed deliveries, cancelled orders for the on-demand servicesand subsequently loss of revenue. Alternative modes of transport have therefore come into play in some markets like Kenya and Nigeria, with the use of easy to navigate motorcycles, popularly known as Bodabodas. With about 1.2 million motorcycles in the passenger transport business, Kenyan ecommerce companies have strived to tap into this market by using Bodabodas to swiftly deliver products, especially within busy cities.

There are huge opportunities for logistics to grow e-commerce, but few established players exist in the market,” notes Apoorva Kumar, Jumia’s SVP of Logistics. Present in 14 African countries, Jumia is one of the ecommerce players building logistics and fulfilment infrastructures to ease delivery of products to consumers using both vehicles and bodabodas.

ecommerce

Jumia’s Bodaboda Rider

                                                                                    

Providentially, technology has been a boon to the logistics industry. In Nigeria and Kenya, Jumia is running a well-established system using Machine Learning, relying on GPS enabled delivery apps. The coordinates collected in the first delivery are then registered and used in making a logistics network for future conveyance.

In Rwanda, companies like Zipline are leading the way in commercial drone deliveries. While initially focused on delivering blood to remote health centres that are otherwise difficult to reach fast due to Rwanda’s hilly terrain; it is expected that Zipline’s drones will in future be used in other sectors including e-commerce. Back in Kenya, Astral Aerial Solutions is using drones for among other services, last mile deliveries. The company aims to, in its words, “open up Kenya’s hard to reach regions to new and exciting business opportunities”.

Also Read:  Helpful Ways to Travel With a Wi-Fi Only iPad

The possibilities for a better future in logistics, in my view, are endless! And as Apoorva reiterates, companies cannot solely build a successful logistics system. “It requires integrating various systems and partners to create a big enough network to serve the growing needs of the e-commerce consumers,” he says, calling for both private and public partnerships to this endeavour.

What Then, Does the Future Hold?

Data by logistics consulting firm Knight Frank shows that the cost of transportation represents 50% to 75% of the retail price of the goods. This alone underpins the demand for long-term strategies to the logistics challenges in Africa.

From delayed deliveries between local destinations to sluggish growth of cross-border trade, the effects are being felt across the board. Modern online retailing is headed towards pre-orders, requiring mature infrastructure for both small and medium businesses. This will help meet the packaging, storage, distribution, freight and last-mile-delivery requirements. Though challenging, Africa is a land full of commercial opportunities; causing a scramble for a piece of the pie among international investors.

Therefore, for e-commerce companies in Africa to achieve sustainable bottom-line growth, there needs to occur more tech-empowered handshakes between multiple service providers across markets. Governments have the responsibility to create one-window-policies that empower digital payment solutions as well as logistics infrastructure including road networks, air cargo handling systems and warehouses among others. Similarly, e-commerce and logistics powerhouses like Jumia should commit to empowering more upcoming entrepreneurs. They must also use their leading positions to continue paving the way for economic integration in Africa.

Josephine Wawira is a Consultant in Communications and Public Relations, and a writer with a focus on African Development. She has written opinion articles covering among other topics e-commerce, travel, hospitality and tourism and is currently the Group PR & Communications Assistant Manager at Jumia Group.

Share
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Jumia Women Rally Support For New Mothers

Published

on

Game

 To commemorate this year’s Pan-African Women’s Day and in line with the global theme which addresses maternal and neonatal mortality in Africa, the female staff of Jumia Nigeria have rallied support for new mothers and other patients who couldn’t meet the discharge requirement as a result of unpaid medical bills at the Ikorodu general hospital by helping them to offset their outstanding bills.

As a result, the patients have now been discharged and equipped with financial support to cater for the new babies. The contributions were channeled through the ‘Visit A Hospital Today’ non governmental organisation (NGO) in Lagos.

The African Women’s Day, created by the African Union is commemorated on July 31st of every year to advocate for quality maternity services for disadvantaged women who continue to die needlessly in underserved communities, and to curb poor quality of health services, poor accessibility and weak referral systems for African women.

Jumia’s public relations and communications manager, Mr Olukayode Kolawole who described the financial intervention on behalf of the new mothers as kind and thoughtful, said: “when I heard about the plight of these new mothers and other patients who couldn’t meet the hospital discharge requirement because of their outstanding medical bills, I sought for support from our female staff, especially those who are mothers to contribute towards raising the sum. This collective effort towards helping other women in need through their financial resources reached far beyond what we set out to raise. Now, these women have been discharged and the babies are receiving the needed motherly affection.”

Also Read:  Reaction Trails Unveiling Of John Abayomi As Brain Behind Instablog9ja

Founder of Visit-A-Hospital NGO, Miss Aderonke Rene Ahmed said hundreds of new mothers and women are always stuck in most hospitals because of lack of funds to pay for their medical bills. “Every week, we’re always in different hospitals providing financial support for these patients. We thank the wonderful women at Jumia Nigeria for sponsoring this month’s hospital visit.” Until now, these new mothers had been stuck at the general hospital with their babies for a few weeks because they couldn’t pay their medical bills. “Jumia’s intervention provided succor for them in the nick of time,”she added.

Also Read:  Clear Signs Your Phone Was Hacked

About Jumia Group

Jumia is the leading pan-African e-commerce platform, present across 14 countries in Africa. Its mission is to improve the quality of everyday life in Africa by leveraging technology to deliver innovative, convenient and affordable online services to consumers while helping businesses grow as they use Jumia’s platform to better reach and serve consumers.

The Jumia platform consists of a marketplace, which connects sellers with consumers, a logistics service, which enables the shipment and delivery of packages from sellers to consumers, and a payment service, which facilitates transactions among participants active on the Jumia platform in selected markets. On the marketplace, more than 80,000 sellers offer a broad range of goods and on-demand services.

Jumia Logistics facilitates the delivery of goods in a convenient and reliable way, leveraging an extensive network of third-party logistics service providers, seamlessly integrated through the Jumia proprietary technology platform.

JumiaPay offers a safe and easy solution to facilitate online transactions on the Jumia platform, with the intention of integrating additional financial services in the future.

Share
Continue Reading

Tech

Five Super Apps For Cleaning Your Android Phone

Published

on

Money

A good number of people only think about cleaning up their phone when something starts to go wrong. Android devices are smart enough that regular maintenance isn’t necessary, but it’s still a good idea to perform a clean up every once in a while. Don’t underestimate the impact of staying digitally organized—it might just keep your phone working for longer.

The trick is finding phone cleaner apps that actually live up to expectations. At best, a bad cleaner app wastes storage space; at worst, it could infect you with malware and spam you with ads. Not all Android cleaner apps are useless, however, so we’re going to help you find the ones worth using. These apps will ensure that your android phone fully performs its functions.

Droid optimizer

Droid Optimizer is one of the best-known Android cleaner tools, with over a million downloads on the Google Play Store. It’s simple to use, especially for newbies, with an introduction screen that walks you through permissions and features. It offers a “ranking system” designed to motivate you to keep your device in top shape. If you don’t mind having your own device shame you into better habits, Droid Optimizer is the best Android cleaner for you. One tap is all you need to begin a phone cleanup. You’ll see your stats at the top of the screen; free space and RAM show next to your “rank” score, where you receive points for your cleanup actions.

Also Read:  Unusual Ways to Find A Misplaced Phone

CCleaner

The same well-known desktop app for reclaiming disk space is also available on Android. It is advisable to stop using CCleaner on Windows due to it going downhill since Avast acquired the service. And while the Android app isn’t perfect either, it’s better than a lot of the other spammy cleaner apps for Android. Indeed, CCleaner on Android is a multifunctional app that does its best to analyze and clean up stray files taking up your precious space. The main function is the cleaner feature that can wipe cache data from apps, purge empty folders, and delete various histories.

All-in-One Toolbox

Cleaning your phone of unnecessary files is only one part of the task. What about monitoring your battery, or your CPU temperature, or those pesky mobile ads? The appropriately-named All-In-One Toolbox is here to do it all. It’s capable of cleaning temporary files on your Android device, wiping your cache, and deleting empty folders and orphaned files. It just takes one tap to analyze your device, then another tap to delete, and you’re done. It’s a similar process with other areas of the app, too.

Also Read:  Jumia, HP to provide 15 students with educational scholarships worth 3.7million

SD Maid

SD Maid claims to be “at your service” as the digital cleaner for your Android phone. It keeps the experience simple—opening up the app gives you four quick action features you can use to “tidy up” your device. The first, CorpseFinder, searches for and erases any orphaned files or folders left over from deleting an app. SystemCleaner is another search-and-delete tool, this time looking for common files and folders that SD Maid believes it can safely delete.

Norton Clean

Aside than CCleaner, none of these cleaner apps come from top-tier security firms. The search for the best cleaning app for Android can’t conclude without mentioning Norton Clean, the Android little brother of the famous Norton Antivirus from Symantec. Norton claims to “remove the clutter” from your Android device. Much like the other entries, it’ll search for and wipe your cache, remove any junk files, and help you quickly remove any unused apps you have installed. The Manage Apps section lists all your apps, letting you sort them by last use, installation date, or how much storage it uses.

 

Share
Continue Reading

Tech

VDT communications Unveils 4G LTE Advanced services

Published

on

VDT Communication
VDT Communication

VDT communications, a leading broadband communications service provider has officially unveiled its retail data network – 4G LTE Advanced service into the market.

 

Speaking at the unveiling in Lagos, Engr. Abiodun Omoniyi, Managing Director/CEO, VDT Communications Limited, said that their decision of launching 4G LTE service came with the successful acquisition of a broad channel 2.3GHz Spectrum from the Federal Government through Bitflux Communications Limited; a consortium which VDT is the principal partner.

 

According to him, the opportunity to actualize this dream came with the successful acquisition of a broad channel 2.3GHz Spectrum 5 years ago from the Federal Government through Bitflux Communications Limited; a consortium which VDT is the principal partner.

Also Read:  Best smartphones for music lovers

 

VDT LTE is leveraging on the Bitflux network it painstakingly and deliberately built from the scratch to provide premium quality 4G broadband experience in the country. Despite the existence of other players in the market, Omoniyi said the decision to launch VDT 4G LTE service is owing to the gaps existing in the market.

 

VDT 4G LTE Advanced, he said, has come to fill the yawning gaps with superior network quality, top-notch network performance and proactive customer and support services.

 

He also stated that their vision is to provide world class services to their customers, noting that customers are at the center of their business.

Also Read:  Unusual Ways to Find A Misplaced Phone

 

Omoniyi said that they will provide top-notch services that will usher in freedom to its customers in their houses and work place.

 

The VDT Communications boss explained that their aim is to be at the forefront of championing the incoming revolution in the broadband service ecosystem.

 

 

The company is an ISO 9001:2015 and the 1st ISO 20000:2011 internationally certified Telecom Company in West and Central Africa for excellent IT service management and winner of several awards including Broadband Company and Corporate Internet Service Provider of the Year 2019, 2018, 2017 and 2015, among several others.

 

Share
Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2019, February13 Media