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Anabella Sevyn

Review Swiftly, a Ghanaian logistics company, seeks funding for international expansion

Anabella Sevyn

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Swiftly, a Ghanaian logistics company that launched in 2009, has successfully bootstrapped its way into establishing a market position on its own market. But now it is seeking capital to grow internationally.

Established in 2016. Quickly It allows you to get quotes from its network freight forwarders and make reservations. You can also receive regulatory and expert advice. You can arrange all aspects of your order from local couriers to air freight services.

“Shipping rates directly affect everything we use, and so price is important to businesses. International shipping is mostly expensive and cumbersome due to low-tech, outmoded processes, five times more so for Africa trade lanes,” CEO Edem Dotse told Disrupt Africa.

“There is no efficiency in moving sea freight as every year 100 million containers are shipped worldwide almost empty.”

Swiftly, however, is competing with OnePort 365, Kobo360, and Lori Systems in addressing this issue. However, it is not as well-capitalised as these companies. Swiftly raised pre-seed funding from DraperDarkFlow – now Draper VC – in 2016, but since then has been funded by revenues. Growth has not been uneventful, but it was strong, especially over the past two years.

“At the beginning, we were shipping 100kg for a whole year, but now we are doing over 500 metric tonnes per month,” Dotse said.

Swiftly has experienced such rapid growth that it now plans to expand its reach into new markets. Swiftly seeks additional financing.

“We already move goods from all over the world between countries like Ghana, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria and the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and China. Now we want to have a physical presence in French West Africa, and East Africa,” said Dotse.

Additionally, the startup plans to increase its product line.

“We want to Introduce our unique shared shipping model to the US, China and Europe, and launch a collective purchasing service to allow importers to Africa to negotiate in groups and enjoy associated price benefits and logistics benefits,” Dotse said.

It quickly monetizes its overhead costs by adding a markup to pay for shipping and other fees to truck owners, airlines, and shippers to have their freight placed on their vessel.

“Our margins are in the range of 25 per cent of overhead costs,” Dotse said. “However our prices are still very good for our end customers due to the discounted contract rates we have with carriers like Maersk, DHL, Fedex, and UPS.”
 

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