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Costs are rising, particularly related to last-mile delivery, is forcing logistics industry to look for innovative solutions that will increase efficiency and save money, we sat down with Chief executive of Digital freight forwarder Saloodo, Tobias Maier – a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL Global Forwarding Company.
- How is Saloodo! Positioned to tackle Kenya’s poor truck turn-around times that hinder the on-time delivery of goods to many consumers? Please highlight key areas that will help address this challenge.
The launch of Saloodo! in Kenya will inject greater transparency and efficiency to the region’s road network by providing real-time visibility. Knowing where each truck is at every given point in time will allow all stakeholders to improve the coordination efforts, to plan ahead and to minimize downtimes.
Saloodo! will also enable shippers to swiftly identify trusted and reliable freight carriers using their laptop or mobile phone reducing time currently spend to find available options to move the cargo as required. This will in turn help carriers to better manage their existing fleets and optimise the utilization and yield generation of their trucks.
- How has COVID-19 pandemic impacted on consumer experience in the logistics sector?
First of all, it was great to see that despite all the challenges we have been experiencing across the world, the supply chains kept going at all times.
While we cannot access the full economic impact of the pandemic, I think the ongoing pandemic has spurred innovation and digital transformation as companies evolve and adapt to remain relevant. It is almost inevitable that this transformation is accelerating in the logistics sector where we are seeing a huge push.
This is especially so at Deutsche Post DHL Group which Saloodo! is a part of, as we have embarked on our digitalization for several years now. Now, many people realize that a lot can be organized online in a smooth way whilst not taking any risk to get infected.
At DHL, we focused on three key priorities – keeping our employees safe, serving our customers and managing our cash flow. As part of these priorities, we organized special charters which we called “UbuntuConnect” bringing urgently required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from China to Africa.
We have also been affected by various border closures and/ or delays as many countries took pre-cautionary measures to minimize the spread of the virus, and we have been successful in meeting our customers’ needs by leveraging our global network and resources.
- How is digital transformation helping players in sectors like Shipping and logistics navigate emerging challenges especially during pandemics like the one we are experiencing?
Saloodo! enables B2B companies (shippers) to find verified freight carriers and in turn, helps carriers find suitable FTL shipments to optimize their truck capacities – all organized on an online platform.
The portal has an easy three-step process through which shippers can find a freight carrier, create a transport request, make the booking and track their shipment in real time until delivery.
Within today’s logistics reality, we are still operating an ecosystem with millions of actors and asset owners which has to be coordinated in a smart way to reduce cost and ensure all cargo arrives at the right place in time. This is where we as Saloodo! come in and connect the dots and give all parties peace of mind.
- Security of goods is a major factor that customers consider when selecting shipping firms. How is Saloodo helping customers build confidence on the choice of freight?
For us, it is important to make sure that our customers’ goods are secured and that the customer experience is as seamless as possible. All carriers on Saloodo! are vetted as part of our onboarding process and their performance is tracked and evaluated on a regular basis, also considering the feedback of our shippers.
All contractual relationships are organized via the existing DHL entity, providing trust and peace of mind to carriers and shippers alike.
- How has trade volumes between countries you operate in changed since the launch of Saloodo! Please share data on trade between Kenya and East African counterparts.
Saloodo! has allowed us to offer our customers truly a one-stop-digital-shop for all their trucking needs. We have been able to increase our network of shippers and carriers, and provide a solution that emphasises customer experience. Since the launch of Saloodo! in 2017 in Germany, we have been supporting businesses in Europe, the Middle East and now the African continent. The service has grown to encompass more than 30,000 shippers and over 12,000 carriers covering more than 50 countries.
During this time, the trucks managed by Saloodo have travelled a total distance of more than 25 million kilometres, which is equivalent to over 630 trips around the earth and 35 voyages to the moon and back.
- How many Kenyan Shipping firms have embraced Saloodo! Since the launch and what is the general level of interest shown by these local providers?
Saloodo! has been well received by both our existing customers and new customers who have entrusted us with their business since its inception. Our competitive edge lies in the unique combination of a smart, swift, and reliable digital offering with our extensive logistics expertise, transparency, and broad footprint under the DHL brand.