African Rainbow Capital Investments subsidiary GemCap has acquired online transport management business Linebooker from the Oceana Group for an undisclosed amount.
“The investment by GemCap is significant in that it gives us the scope and capital to expand our service offering and logistical reach to benefit customers and transporters beyond the borders of South Africa,” says Linebooker COO Nick Hoffman.
“Linebooker will pursue opportunities for organic growth where we can build our customer and transporter base. Apart from Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia, there are also interesting opportunities to be explored in markets such as Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania.”
Linebooker was established in February 2017 as South Africa’s first commercial, online transport bidding platform and, to date, has completed more than 3 400 loads.
Since its establishment, more than a 100 commercial transport companies have joined the Linebooker platform.
Collectively, these transport companies have a truck complement of more than 5 000 vehicles that essentially makes up a ‘virtual fleet’ that can meet customers’ transport demands within an hour of posting a load request, explains Hoffman.
“The opportunity presented by Linebooker is a real-time logistics application that efficiently and transparently matches trucks to loads.”
The system not only ensures the best price of the day, but also alleviates vehicle shortages over periods of high demand.
The customer also has access to the Linebooker execution desk where a dedicated logistics coordinator oversees the transport of their load.
The company has built up a strong base of repeat customer transactions, notes Hoffman.
Linebooker is a Level-2 empowerment company.
It offers customers a single creditor solution.
The value proposition also extends to transport companies. Transporters have access to more customers, which assists with business expansion and alleviates vehicles returning empty, says Hoffman.
The transport company deals with a single debtor and is not subjected to any broker mark-ups.
“Much of our success can be attributed to the transparent nature of our online platform and operating model, coupled to the fact that we have been able to show our customers savings of between 12% to 21% on their existing transport costs,” says Hoffman.
Given the rising costs of transport, ranging from fuel costs to insurance, the ferrying of goods from point A to point B remains the most significant portion of logistics costs, at 58%.
Today, more than half of the cost of products can be factored back to transport and delivery, and ensuring goods are at the right place, at the right time, notes Hoffman.
Stellenbosch-based GemCap is an investment holding company that has interests in other disruptive digital technology platforms such as PayProp, Consumer Friend and InfoSlips.