Nigerian startup Haul247 is connecting haulage or storage orders with available solutions using an Airbnb-style model.
Founded by Sehinde Afolayan, Tobi Obasa and Akindele Phillips during the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020, Haul247 is a marketplace that connects companies with shippers and storage, reducing transportation costs and maximising efficient asset use.
“Haul247’s value proposition is simple – a unique platform offering opportunities for clients to transport and store their goods in one logistics ecosystem,” Afolayan told Disrupt Africa.
Africa’s freight logistics industry is highly fragmented, with over 80 per cent of the market operated by informal carriers with only a handful of trucks. Haul247 aggregates these informal carriers and makes their assets available as a pool to companies that need their services.
“There is a constant supply-demand mismatch as the industry does not have a way to optimise itself,” Afolayan said.
“Most companies cannot accurately predict and forecast since different vendors handle transportation and warehousing needs. This makes it hard for them to control, distribute and plan their logistics requirements effectively. Also, in most African markets, manufacturing companies concentrate or have their manufacturing hubs in only one city and, from there, move or distribute their products to over one thousand cities and towns across the country.”
The Haul247 platform, however, matches orders with available assets through an Airbnb-style model for trucks and warehouses. Partners are assured of reverse hauling, and shippers are charged less than they usually pay.
“This makes it a win-win situation for both logistics providers and users,” Afolayan said.
The Haul247 team deliberately chose to launch mid-lockdown in order to better prove its concept.
“We were amazed at the market fit of the project, which helped us to land our first and major client, Honeywell,” said Afolayan.
Proper operational activities started in July 2021, and this was also when it received its first angel investment. It has been growing since then, and was recently announced as a beneficiary of the 2022 Google Balck Founders’ Fund.
Presently, Haul247 has onboarded 14 enterprise and FMCG businesses, and also has over 1,000 trucks on its roster, with about 150,000sqm of warehouse space available across multiple locations. The company operates only in Nigeria but is looking to expand into other African countries over the next couple of years.
“The goal is to ensure that more businesses across Africa can tap into trade opportunities that the AfCFTA will unlock,” said Afolayan.
“Our platform offers a unique opportunity as you can transport and store your goods all in one logistics ecosystem, making us get commissions from two sources, transportation and warehousing, which increases our revenue base at the same time assuring our partners an efficient and effective logistics that will help them forecast, schedule and plan their logistics needs.”