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    Financial Services
    08 February 2021

    Aiden Sookdin

    Are there still opportunities for growth in the freight and transport sector?

    After a disasterous 2020, we look at what businesses in the freight industry can do to survive these times.  

    The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local and international business has and continues to prove to be unprecedented. The volume of goods transported in South Africa decreased by 22.7% in May 2020 compared with May 2019. This means that businesses in the freight and transport industry need to recover, pivot and thrive to manage the new environment.

    Not only have businesses been forced to find innovative ways to transact, but many have also had to adapt their entire operating models. Some have even had to merge with other industries to remain buoyant in the wake of volatility that the pandemic has unleashed.

    The COVID-19 vaccine is revolutionising freight and transport

    Looking to the future, can you see your business somewhere along the temperature-controlled pharmaceutical supply chain? With up to R1.5 million in funding from VodaLend, you could be an essential part of this vital infrastructure – facilitating vaccines being moved from their original site to final destination- while staying cold. These services are so critical they’ve been flagged by the UN Environment Programme as an investment activator in developing countries. 

    Refrigerated-truck operators 

    There is going to be an enormous, continued need for the transport of essential services goods, particularly with the COVID-19 vaccine. South Africa will require quick and reliable transportation businesses to step-up and help with the complicated national roll-out. Commercial trucks with expertise in moving pharmaceutical products are a necessity. Could a loan within 24 hours from VodaLend help you pivot your business to answer this massive need in our country? 

    Cold storage warehouse conversion 

    The revolution in cold storage warehousing and logistics has already begun overseas and is a glaring shortfall here in South Africa. Because of inadequate refrigerated cold-chain networks, especially in rural communities, vaccine access is going to be a massive problem to solve, likewise the storage of food. In many rural parts of Africa, farmers lose anywhere between 30% - 50% of food produced for human consumption due to poor post-harvest practices and lack of cold storage.

    Real time tracking technology

    A positive outcome of the pandemic has been to kick technology into high gear, which will further accelerate in 2021. The focus here will be on having your supply chain fully digitised. Smaller businesses would do well to invest in reliable platforms where real-time tracking and tracing is available, in the moment, for suppliers and customers. New and advanced technologies will increase efficiency and give freight and transport businesses the competitive edge they’ll need to survive. 

    Parcel delivery services set to boom

    According to Research Gate, due to the escalation of online shopping, many parcel couriers around the world saw Christmas level parcel volume during COVID-19 in 2020. In fact, in some areas, couriers faced a staffing shortage, the opposite of so many other industries. To stand out in 2021 as a courier your value proposition needs to be unique, cross-branding with different types of suppliers, offering quicker service, safer deliveries (sterilised goods for example), as many vulnerable people are wary of things which haven’t been quarantined or sanitised. Find your niche as a courier and invest in making your businesses outstanding.

    On the road to success with VodaLend 

    The road to success is to take massive, determined action and whether you are recovering, pivoting or thriving, VodaLend would be honoured to be part of your journey. We are perfectly positioned to be your agile partner in funding. We know it’s never been more important to be able to get a loan quickly, without the hassle of visiting banks, complex applications or paperwork. Been in business for at least 12 months and have an annual turnover of R500 000 or more?  We can give you access to money within 24 hours to help you on the road to success. 

    Aiden Sookdin