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Google invests in e-logistics for haulage digitisation in Africa

By Stellamaris Ashinze

Google on Tuesday said that it had invested in Lori Systems,  an e-logistics company digitising haulage and providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage  cargo and transporters.

The Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa, Google, Nitin Gajria said in a statement that this new investment is the third from Google’s 50 Million dollars  Africa Investment Fund, announced in October 2021.

Gajria said that it came  off the back of the launch of Google’s first product development center on the continent, in Nairobi, Kenya, the city where Lori Systems first launched.

He said that named by the Financial Times earlier this year as Africa’s seventh fastest-growing company, Lori Systems had helped thousands of shippers and carriers move over 10 billion dollars worth of cargo across the continent since its founding in 2017.

According to him, the continent, logistics operators face a host of problems; from fragmented supply and demand markets to inconsistent pricing, paper documentation and little or no access to financing.

‘’A pioneer in e-logistics in Africa, Lori Systems lowers the cost of goods by eliminating pain points along the cargo journey seamlessly connecting shippers to transportation.

‘’Providing shippers with solutions to efficiently manage their cargo and transporters, and digitizing their entire transport operations from sourcing transportation to documentation and payments.

“At Google, we understand the transformative power digitisation can bring to the African continent.

‘’There is so much potential in the region, but it’s only through innovation that this can be fully unlocked,’’ he said.

According to Gajria,  Lori Systems is a great example of how technology can be scalable across Africa, and how, in turn, this can drive meaningful economic development.

“We’re excited to see where the future takes a business like this.”

Jean-Claude Homawoo, Lori Systems co-founder said that in recent years,  the global logistics industry had seen much innovation.

She, however, said that global supply chains were in dire need of modernisation, with technologies yet to reach critical scale.

Homawoo said that on the continent, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is expected to lead to an 81 per cent increase in intra-African trade, providing a 21.9 billion  opportunity.

The co founder said that providing opportunities in untapped trade potential that the 54 ratifying countries were hoping to capitalise on over the next five years.

‘’Logistics is key to unlocking this opportunity.”

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lori Systems,  Uche Ogboi said that the company was excited to have Google as a partner,  as the organisation continued to build the operating system for emerging market logistics.

According to her, our vision of the future of logistics in Africa is one that is digital, scalable and more efficient.

She said the company had been successful, achieving up to 20 per cent price reduction for cargo owners and nearly 2 times increase in truck utilisation for transporters on Lori platform.

‘’We are excited about this funding as it will allow us to continue driving superior efficiencies across logistics on the continent.” (NAN)

Edited by Chioma Ugboma

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