Digital road freight platform Saloodo!, a subsidiary of DHL Global Forwarding, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be the first logistics provider to offer digital road freight solutions on AfricaPLC, an industrial eCommerce Marketplace and FinTech platform, managed by the Africa Investor (Ai). Ai is an institutional investment holding platform that vets and promotes infrastructure, private equity and technology investment opportunities in Africa.

The partnership will address some of the biggest obstacles facing businesses seeking to expand across Africa and global markets, such as access to trade opportunities, sourcing of credible partners, trade finance and reliable logistics solutions. Saloodo!, backed by DHL, the world’s leading logistics player, will inject greater transparency and efficiency by enabling shippers – from small enterprises and start-ups to large multinational groups – to find trusted and reliable freight carriers across Africa.

Tobias Maier, CEO of Saloodo! Middle East and Africa said, “Our partnership with AfricaPLC is an exciting opportunity for Saloodo! to showcase our intuitive digital platform that will offer shippers and transport providers a single, simple, reliable interface to optimise costs, routes, cargo and transit times. Road freight continues to form the backbone of Africa’s logistics industry and I’m convinced that our digital solution will further its progress as the economy recovers.”

According to the World Bank, intra-African trade is one of the best solutions Africa has to eradicate challenges such as poverty and hunger. Intra-African trade not only provides solutions and opportunities for businesses to grow but also expands the African economy through diversification and inclusion. Initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) will speed up economic growth and digitalization can be the impetus to accelerate this development.

“AfricaPLC is committed to supporting the growth of any organisation, particularly SME’s, through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and globalising African e-trade ecosystems,” said Hubert Danso, Chairman, AfricaPLC. “By partnering with Saloodo!, our SME, Corporate, Public Sector and Trade Finance customers can be assured that fulfilment is carried out by a reliable and compliant provider, who can provide full visibility and transparency throughout the shipping process. This allows our partners to channel resources on further growing their business intra-Africa and to global markets and efficiently managing their budgets and supply chain networks.”

In the current Covid-19 pandemic, for example, AfricaPLC has been supporting its public and private sector partners to facilitate the trade and transport of critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the African continent.

“Since we entered into South Africa last year, Saloodo! has successfully expanded to the rest of the continent and is perfectly positioned to further push the envelope of digitalisation to improve the state of logistics services in Africa,” added Maier. “The demand for digital transformation will be driven by emerging markets globally and this crucial partnership with AfricaPLC will allow us to explore solutions that will help boost economic activity on the continent through logistics services and encourage intra-Africa trade.”