Last-Mile Logistics and Warehousing in Africa
Last-mile delivery is the final stage of the supply chain, where goods are delivered to the end customer. On the other hand, e-commerce warehousing is a type of warehouse that specializes in storing and distributing online orders. These two concepts are closely related, as e-commerce warehouses often handle last-mile deliveries for their customers.
When it comes to trade and logistics in Africa, the so-called “last mile” is often the most challenging. This refers to the last leg of the journey from the point of origin to the final destination, and it’s where many African businesses struggle to get their goods delivered efficiently and affordably.
This article gives you an overview of last-mile logistics and warehousing in Africa.
Last-Mile Delivery Service Development in Africa
In Africa, the development of last-mile delivery services has been slow. This is due to several factors, including the lack of infrastructure and low economic growth in many African countries. However, there has been a recent surge in the number of startups focused on providing last-mile delivery services in Africa.
One of the most notable startups is Sendy, based in Kenya.
Sendy is an on-demand delivery platform that connects businesses and customers with couriers. The company has raised over $1 million in funding from investors such as the IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.
Another startup that is making waves in the last-mile delivery space is Kobo360. Kobo360 is a Nigerian startup using technology to solve the problems of last-mile logistics in Africa. The company has raised over $10 million in funding from investors such as Y Combinator and Tiger Global Management.
Several other startups are also making a name for themselves in the last-mile delivery space in Africa. These companies are proof that the region’s market for last-mile delivery services is growing. With the increasing penetration of mobile phones and the internet, it is only a matter of time before last-mile delivery services become commonplace in Africa.
Warehousing Development in Africa
The development of warehousing in Africa has been a slow process due to the continent’s lack of infrastructure and investment. However, recent years have seen an increase in construction and development activity, as investors recognize the potential for growth in this sector.
Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and with that growth comes an increased demand for parcel shipping, storage, and logistics services. To meet this demand, developers are constructing new warehouses and expanding existing ones.
The most active markets for warehouse development are South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya. However, other countries such as Ghana, Tanzania, and Uganda are also seeing activity.
One of the challenges facing warehouse developers in Africa is the lack of available land. This is particularly true in urban areas, where land is scarce and expensive. As a result, many warehouses are being built on the outskirts of cities in less developed regions.
Another challenge is the lack of skilled labor. Many African countries do not have enough trained workers to staff warehouses. As a result, developers must rely on foreign workers, which can be expensive and difficult to obtain.
Despite these challenges, the future of warehousing in Africa is bright. With continued economic growth, the demand for storage and logistics services will only increase. This will create opportunities for developers who are able to meet the needs of businesses and consumers.
How Does Warehousing Work/Combine With Last-Mile Delivery?
Warehousing is a critical part of the logistics and distribution process, as it provides a place to store goods until they are needed. An effective warehousing operation can help ensure that products are available when customers want them while also helping keep costs down.
Last-mile delivery is the final step in getting goods to customers, and it can be one of the most challenging and costly parts of the logistics process. An effective warehousing operation can help minimize last-mile delivery costs by ensuring that products are stored close to the final destination.
Warehousing and last-mile delivery often work together to ensure that products are delivered to customers on time and at a reasonable cost. By doing so, these two critical parts of the logistics process can help to keep costs down and improve customer satisfaction.
The Evolution of Ecommerce Logistics Services
The e-commerce landscape has changed dramatically in recent years, and logistics services have had to adapt to keep up. In the early days of online shopping, customers were mainly concerned with convenience and price. But as e-commerce has become more commonplace, customers expect a higher level of service, including fast shipping and flexible delivery options.
Advantages That Modern Technology Brought to Ecommerce Businesses
E-commerce businesses have been booming in recent years, and a lot of that has to do with the advantages that modern technology has brought them.
Some of the most significant advantages that caused e-commerce growth in Africa thanks to modern technology are:
Faster Delivery Times
Thanks to things like same-day delivery and drones, customers can now get their orders much faster than before. This is a big selling point for many customers who value convenience and speed.
A Wider Reach
With the internet, businesses can now reach a global audience with ease. This means that there are no geographical boundaries when it comes to selling products or services online.
Since e-commerce businesses are online; they can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a significant advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses that have to close at night or on weekends.
With no need for physical storefronts or inventory, e-commerce businesses generally have lower overhead costs than traditional businesses. This allows them to be more competitive on price.
Thanks to these advantages, e-commerce businesses can now thrive and compete with traditional companies in a way that was not possible before.
E-Commerce Fulfillment Warehousing and Last-Mile Delivery
E-commerce fulfillment and last-mile delivery are two of the most important aspects of running a successful online business. Having a well-functioning e-commerce fulfillment operation can mean the difference between happy customers who keep coming back and angry customers who take their business elsewhere. Likewise, last-mile delivery is often the make-or-break factor when it comes to customer satisfaction.
E-Commerce Warehouse vs. Traditional Warehouse
There are a few key differences between an e-commerce warehouse and a traditional warehouse. These include the types of products stored, how orders are handled, and the overall layout of the facility.
For starters, e-commerce warehouses typically store a wider variety of products than traditional warehouses. This is due to the fact that online retailers sell a greater variety of items than brick-and-mortar stores. As such, e-commerce warehouses must be able to accommodate a greater variety of SKUs.
Another key difference is the way orders are handled. In a traditional warehouse, orders are typically picked and packed by hand. This can be quite time-consuming and is often not very accurate. In an e-commerce warehouse, orders are picked and packed using automated systems. This is much faster and more accurate than traditional methods.
Finally, the layout of an e-commerce warehouse is generally quite different from that of a traditional warehouse. E-commerce warehouses are designed to be more efficient in terms of space utilization. This is necessary to accommodate the large number of SKUs that are normally stored in these facilities.