Report Highlights How IoT Helps African Logistics Companies Pivot to Beat Covid-19
The report published by Pod Group explains how innovative companies in Africa are focusing on new revenue streams to combat the effects of the pandemic
Cambridge, UK, 3rd November 2020 – Pod Group, a provider of connectivity services for the Internet of Things (IoT) has published a report based on research carried out during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic among logistics companies in Africa, who have had the foresight to quickly pivot their businesses to address gaps in the market that have opened up as a result of the lockdowns.
Pod Group’s qualitative research found that many transport routes in Africa have suffered considerably from border closures resulting in less vehicles travelling along Africa’s transport corridors with the corresponding negative impact on industry revenue. This situation is compounded by cost cuts, both within the transport companies themselves and among their customers. As a result, some logistics companies in the region have found it necessary to rethink their approach to business and bring in new sources of revenue.
One of the companies interviewed, Techmansion Solutions Ltd. saw a window of opportunity when a local taxi firm approached them about the use of their vehicles for private hire. With public transport services reduced to just 25% of their normal capacity, enterprises were looking for other ways to mobilize their workforces. Techmansion quickly adapted their usual telematics-based fleet management services to provide an IoT solution which enables enterprises to reserve private cars for their customers and staff remotely using an integrated booking system.
Other companies have adapted to the changes in transport routes by focusing on the areas benefiting from the diversion of fleets to new transport corridors. One of Beira’s leading logistics terminals is seeing increased visibility and new demand along the Beira Corridor due to the Covid-19 measures implemented in South Africa, which has enforced one of the strictest lockdown regimes worldwide.
One aspect that all companies interviewed agreed on, however, was the importance of IoT solutions as ammunition against the negative effects of Covid-19 and as a vital tool in the transformation of their businesses to create new revenue streams. Using connected devices to track, secure and monitor their fleets, even in rural areas with patchy coverage has given them the competitive edge they need to target new customer segments e.g. the transportation of valuable cargos such as gold or copper.
The availability of these connectivity solutions as managed services with an agnostic platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model has also helped generate new business opportunities. For companies such as Fleetmatics Africa who are looking to reduce overhead costs because of losses incurred by the pandemic, integrating third-party software enables them to offer value-added services, such as fleet data analytics to calculate cost per kilometre, without having to invest in their own in-house development.
David Boxshall, Business Development Director at Pod Group commented, “Covid-19 has hit the logistics sector in emerging markets such as Africa very hard, but it is amazing to see how a flexible mindset and innovative use of technology has given some of these companies the cutting edge. The ability to connect, manage and secure their vehicle fleets remotely has enabled them to target new customers in high value sectors, and in some cases, change their business model completely.”
The full report is available for download at www.podgroup.com/resources/insights/africa-iot-solutions-covid-report/
About Pod Group
Pod Group is a specialist in IoT SIM cards and advanced connectivity solutions for IoT applications, bringing over 20 years’ experience, research and innovation to the telecommunications market. With offices across the globe and access to 600+ networks in 185 countries, Pod provides enterprises, manufacturers and systems integrators with a broad portfolio of IoT connectivity solutions to launch and scale their IoT/M2M deployments, including global multi-network and multi-IMSI SIMs, private LTE networking, eUICC and LPWAN technologies. Centralized connectivity management is made possible via Pod Group’s modular platform, Pod IoT Suite, along with end-to-end IoT security and hierarchical billing.
Notes to editors
The research was carried out on directors of telematics and logistics companies operating across African countries between August and October 2020.