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Road freight facing disruptor?

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Following the lead of tech innovators in the taxi industry, SA’s road freight sector is set for a similar shake-up as Linebooker has launched an online-bidding platform that connects transport customers and trucking companies to offer transparent pricing.

Following the lead of tech innovators in the taxi industry, South Africa’s road freight sector is set for a similar shake-up. According the latest Logistics Barometer (published by Stellenbosch University), transport remains the most significant portion of logistics costs (57% of the total in 2014)* — an opportunity that is being seized upon by Cape Town-based start-up Linebooker.  A spinoff from the innovation arm of CCS Logistics (part of the Oceana Group), the company has launched an online-bidding platform that connects bulk business transport customers and trucking companies to offer transparent pricing, as well as end-to-end delivery facilitation services.

“It’s time for South Africa’s road freight industry to join the 21st century,” says Naudé Rademan, MD of CCS Logistics and Linebooker. “Technology exposes the imbalanced relation between buyers and sellers, and with our online tools and a single point of service, customers can enjoy more control and insights over the transport of various goods and products.”

Operating nationally, Linebooker is challenging an industry plagued by opaque pricing and antiquated systems. With its online bidding platform, transport customers can quickly submit load requests online to alert multiple transporters that are given a two-hour window in which to provide the best bid, often competing up to the last second. For transport customers, the offering features:

  • A single creditor (a set fee is charged per transaction based on the value of a load)
  • Vetted transporters and truck availability; and
  • Facilitation of the entire delivery process.

Average savings: 13% per load 

Naude Rademan, a respected professional in South Africa’s logistics and road transport industry, is MD of CCS Logistics, which owns and operates some of the most advanced and largest cold storage facilities in southern Africa. With a handful of colleagues — possessing almost 50 years of experience in the sector between them — they developed Linebooker in mid 2016. Since then, the company has facilitated the delivery of more than 1000 loads, saving customers an average of 13% per load. Linebooker currently has more than 60 transporters with over 1300 trucks on its system — an amount increasing weekly — and serves some of the country’s most respected brands, including Lucky Star, Shoprite and Heinz.

Reformed transport brokers

Composed of several former transport brokers, the company emphasises that it is not — nor does it want to be — a transport brokerage.  And while it does not own any transport trucks, Linebooker uses its technology, combined with the team’s knowledge of the industry (including some time as brokers), to ensure that trust and fairness are part of every transaction.

“Today, each transport request made online is like a mini RFP,” concludes Nick Hoffman, Linebooker Manager. “With our system we are improving the efficiency of the industry, connecting customers with more transporters (and vice versa), and ensuring transparent pricing. In some cases, customers are saving up to 18% per load.”

Levelling the playing field for transporters

For transporters — challenged with cash flow issues due to payment terms averaging 40 days in the industry — Linebooker offers:

  • Access to more customers;
  • A single debtor (with no broker mark-up);
  • Payment within 15 days; and
  • Improved ‘lane balancing’ (deliveries loaded in two directions).

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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