East African e-Logistics Startup Lori is Expanding its Operations to Nigeria, Going Head-to-Head with Kobo360
Lori Systems, a Pan-African logistics company based in Nairobi has announced its expansion to Nigeria after a successful pilot operation in a bid to extend its footprint across Africa.
According to a statement released by Lori, the expansion came after a successful 10-month pilot operation. Within the duration, Lori worked with some of the country’s top cargo companies including Olam and Honeywell Flour Mills.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Lagos, Lori’s Chief Operating Officer, Uche Ogboi, explained that the company’s mission in Nigeria is to create a more efficient logistics experience for cargo owners.
“Our mission in Nigeria is to create a more efficient logistics experience for cargo owners who are burdened with the task of moving their goods across the country.”Uche Ogboi, Chief Operating Officer Lori
She added that the company had the right platform to make the movement of goods affordable, reliable and flexible.
“We have successfully created a digital platform to enable the movement of goods through a transparent supply chain management system that is affordable, reliable and flexible.”Uche Ogboi, Chief Operating Officer Lori
Launched in Kenya in 2016 to seamlessly connect cargo owners to transport in frontier markets, Lori systems has grown into one of the largest e-Logistics service providers in East Africa.
e-Logistics in Nigeria
In July, Lori announced the appointment of a new global leadership to drive the company’s expansion efforts across Africa.
As Africa’s largest single market, Nigeria faces many logistic challenges like a congested port and shortage of transport options.
According to 2018 Logistics and Supply Chain Industry report, the value of the logistics sub-sector of the economy currently stands at N250 billion. It was valued at N200 billion in 2017.
Although it’s coming into a pretty saturated market, Lori is introducing an Uberised (on-demand) business modelthat enables the logistics space to operate more efficiently than it does today.
However, Lori still has to contend with the competition. Kobo360, for instance, is a similar logistics startup with plans for an African expansion.
Oldtimers in the logistics market like GMC Logistics and Red Star Express may not be difficult to edge out though. But they could present some lessons. Both companies know a thing or two about weathering infrastructure challenges in Nigeria.
Sonny Allison, the Founder of Red Star Express, believes that for logistics to be profitable, it must deliver far greater value than its nominal cost which is greatly affected by lack of infrastructure.
Still, Lori, like Kobo360, may avoid the usual challenges with their Uberised model. Unlike other logistics firms, they do not personally own any of the vehicles used for transportation thereby reducing the risk and cost of business.
What Lori offers
Lori provides reliability to cargo owners by working with high-quality transporters who have been vetted and constantly rated on performance.
Consequently, with their transporter partners, Lori optimises truck and asset utilisation for onboarded trucks through access to its pool of cargo owners.
Lori’s growth has been recognised severally. The startup has won awards like the 2017 TechCrunch Battlefield Africa; 2018 Fastest Growing Company – Global Africa Business Awards; 2018 Innovation Award – East Africa Maritime Awards.
Rethinking logistics through the adoption of new business models and technology could become key in delivering efficient trade in Nigeria. Providing a logistics coordination platform that makes cargo transportation seamless makes all market participants more efficient, leading to inclusive growth.
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