In response to the rapid growth of African e-commerce, Jumia and Kaymu, Africa’s leading e-commerce marketplaces, have partnered to launch AIG Express. The initiative aims to provide a fulfillment and delivery platform for online sellers in Africa.
AIG Express plans to integrate existing logistics providers into a single network that will meet the growing needs of online sellers across the continent.
“We’re currently delivering up to 100,000 packages a day for Jumia and Kaymu, and we expect this number to grow around five times by end of 2015. In order to provide convenient, fast and friendly customer service, we need to quickly scale up the delivery network”, said Indrek Heinloo, who is leading the initiative across Africa.
At the moment, many companies face limitations in technology investments and skill development. This prevents them from meeting current e-commerce standards, which require the capacity to process “cash on delivery” transactions, track packages electronically, as well as mobile equipment to communicate effectively with sellers and customers. AIG Express intends to work closely with local logistics entrepreneurs to fill these gaps by implementing technology and training to handle e-commerce logistics.
“We have developed an approach which will help logistics companies in Africa become as effective as the companies in more developed markets. We provide a common platform that would link all logistics providers and enable serving the demand of online customers. Through consolidation of volumes from e-commerce platforms such as Jumia and Kaymu, we provide a constant stream of business which can help logistics companies to grow. We already have a number of companies incorporated to our network – from established logistics companies with decades of experience to newly created local ventures – several of which have been created by African entrepreneurs specifically on the backbone of Africa Internet Group’s businesses.” said Indrek.
Sacha Poignonnec, co-CEO Africa Internet Group, said: “When we look at unemployment rates, and when we see the growth of e-commerce, we are optimistic about the opportunities this new industry brings. We believe the ecosystem of jobs that will emerge around e-commerce over the coming decade will provide a lot of opportunities, and logistics services are a key contributor to this.”
All logistics companies are free to join the AIG Express network and benefit from the unprecedented entrepreneurial opportunities that e-commerce provides on the continent. According to Indrek, as long as the companies are able to provide reliable logistics services in line with the AIG Express standards, they can be linked onto the logistics platform and provided with sustainable and growing volumes for their business.