Kenya: DHL launches digital cross-border trade platform

Nairobi — Digital freight forwarder Saloodo!, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Global Forwarding, an international provider of air, sea and road freight services has launched a new digital road freight platform for shippers and transport providers along the Northern Corridor.

Saloodo Chief Executive Officer Middle East and Africa Tobias Maier Tobias Maier says the platform has provided reliability and efficiency to businesses access to a pool of reliable carriers in Kenya to cater to their on-demand shipments

Speaking to Capital FM from Dubai during a virtual conference call, Maier said border restrictions implemented by various governments contain the spread of COVID-19.

“In COVID-19, we actually realised that many people like the chance to organise their movement in a digital way as everyone tried to minimise exposure and people contact.”

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“One thing which was a bit of a challenge, we many borders were affected across Africa, there were additional testings required for drivers and many borders were closed completely. So with the platform and the tracking we have on the platform, we could actually have people coordinate these hussles but that was the challenge for the tracking industry,” he said

But says the industry has stepped up efforts to respond to the pandemic efficiently by looking at various alternative solutions and offerings.

“I always say that it is a big irony or a big injustice for that the logistic costs for for consumers in Africa are the highest on the globe, where people having the lowest income have to pay the highest portion of logistic costs when they buy goods in the supermarkets, and I think we as players have a duty to make the logistics supply chain,” he said.

The service will be available for cargo movement within Kenya as well as to and from its neighbouring countries of Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda and South Sudan which mostly depend on the port of Mombasa for their imports and exports

In addition to security features in the platform, Saloodo will also provide cargo insurance through their global cover for extra protection and all contractual relationships are organised via the existing local DHL entity.

Collectively, the service has grown to more than 30,000 shippers and over 12,000 carriers covering 35 countries.

Kenya has over 162,000 kilometres of road and is currently working on upgrading existing road network conditions.

Kenya’s Mombasa Port is Africa’s fifth-busiest port, and serves as the main gateway for trade in the Eastern Africa region, while its roads connect Kenya with neighbours including Uganda, Somalia, Rwanda and South Sudan.