Haul247 Moves to Provide Haven for Trucks, Warehouses
By Adedapo Adesanya
With logistics recognised as the key to unlocking Africa’s commerce potential, Haul247, a Google Black Founders’ Fund grantee, has positioned itself as the continent’s Airbnb for trucks and warehouses.
Africa’s logistics industry remains fragmented, with informal carriers operating over 80 per cent of the market with one to three vehicles, indicating an urgent need to address the supply-demand mismatch since the ecosystem cannot optimize itself.
Experts argue that while the value of all logistics assets, including infrastructure and vehicles, can easily account for half of an advanced economy’s gross domestic product (GDP), Africa’s logistics sector continues to be hampered by a lack of supporting infrastructure, bottlenecks in service delivery, and a widespread informal approach to logistics business.
To tackle one of these critical issues, Haul247 founders; Mr Sehinde Afolayan, Mr Tobi Obasa and Mr Akindele Phillips believe that solutions to logistics in Africa that do not solve warehousing challenges will be more costly, inefficient, and risky.
For the trio, Haul247 was birthed after weeks of brainstorming to be the “Airbnb” for trucks and warehouses in Africa. The company’s value proposition is a unique platform offering opportunities for clients to transport and store their goods in one logistics ecosystem.
“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,” Mr Sehinde said.
He further noted, “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.”
So far, Haul247 has onboarded 14 enterprise and FMCG businesses. The startup also has over a thousand trucks on its roster, with about 150,000 square meters of warehouse space available across multiple locations.
However, the company is not relenting in its objective to optimize logistics service delivery in key African markets. Over the next five years, Haul247 is looking to expand into other African countries. It is also working on upgrading its technology and integrating 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,” Mr Afolayan noted.