Transport Engineering PhD graduate Daniel Emaasit from the University of Nevada in the USA together with his brother Tobias Tukei who has been in the logistics industry for over 7 years teamed up to start on-demand warehousing and logistics firm Logistify AI and they believe this company will tilt the logistics and warehousing industry on its head.
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing a good amount of panic across the industry and Emaasit believes their startup is the solution to rapid response support during this time through providing speedy warehousing services for essential commodities like masks, food, sanitizer and essential medicines that are highly needed now.
Their pay as you go model gives you the flexibility of using the facilities under their management starting from a few hours to days, months and much longer than traditional logistics firms don’t.
The old business model in the industry was built on locking down clients into inconvenient long-term contracts something Emaasit and his team want to change.
Logistify AI started operations in July last year and the company has been growing steadily month on month. They have since onboarded a number of leading warehouse owners like Equator Catering Services, BAT Uganda warehouses in Jinja, Rafiki Property Services, East Africa Investment, Sarjan Property Agencies and Creston Business park to mention but a few.
Through his experience working for DSV Global, Tobias Tukei the company’s co-founder realised warehouse owners do have seasons of low or no business at all.
Combining their experience growing up in rural Eastern Uganda to parents who were farmers and owned a warehouse with the challenges Tukei saw in the logistics industry as he worked. He got a good understanding of the bad and good seasons in the industry and the company, as a result, is equipped to help clients navigate through them both.
During this Covid-19 lockdown, the key products taking up large spaces in the warehouses include food, sanitizer and soap which are critical for survival in this period.
However more products including all fast-moving consumer goods, light and heavy commodities including timber among other things will be added on as the lockdown eases.
International clients like Aqua Fish and Son Fish both makers of fish feeds based in Egypt have already trusted them as a service provider of choice and the numbers are set to rise.
With close to 50 prospective clients already in talks with the firm, CEO Daniel Emaasit says the growth is promising.
Month on month growth figures show a 33% increase in bookings, a 120% increase in users and a 167% growth in listings. Daniel Emaasit the company’s CEO believes they will break even within a year’s time thanks to this rapid growth.
Limited knowledge among warehouse owners about their product, some warehouses being hard to reach, internet access for the rural ones remains an issue to yet a lot of the firm’s business’ is online leaving out some customers.
They are exploring how to roll out complete pick, pack and ship services with transport to the final destination from the warehouses as clients demand more of these.
Over $20, 000 (about Shs75.7m has been sunk into the business by the founding brothers with plans to expand across borders.
Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania are the next markets with the entire continent being the ultimate target going forward says the firm's COO Tobias Tukei.
New forms of storage space will also become available going forward with plans to have onboard every one with a deport, vacant store, residential house and even vacant shop as a client on the supply side.
What sets them apart?
While most sites and companies in this sector list real estate in general, Logistify AI has put it’s focus on the warehousing, storage and logistics sector.
They also ease the monetary transactions in the sector as an intermediary and single centre for payments something that makes the work of the warehouse owners and those hiring them easier.
Affordability is embedded in their service as there is no extra payment charged to customer besides a 10% shippers fee that is booked on the storage fee to ensure customers are not exploited.
Back and forth communication that goes into invoicing has also been reduced with customers being able to receive invoices through the Logistify app and make payments through mobile money, card payments and direct bank deposits.
Choosing to take on a digital approach to a largely brick and mortar logistics industry, the ease of scaling across borders is another advantage they intend to use and build Logistify AI into a real force in the industry COO Tukei concludes.
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