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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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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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