Research findings indicate that the relative cost of transporting goods in East Africa is one of the highest in the world. This can be up to 70 per cent or more of a product’s cost going to logistics. According to Mark Mwangi, the co-founder and CEO of Amitruck, this is attributed to the fragmented traditional landscape which has a lot of brokers in between
“Nearly 40 per cent of the ultimate cost of a product ends up to cover the transport cost,” he adds.
With this hindsight, he set up Amitruck in January 2019. Amitruck is a mobile and web-based application that is seen as a catalyst for transforming the transportation of goods within the region by helping streamline the working relationships between truck owners, their drivers and customers.
The word ‘ami’ is a French word meaning ‘friend’. The platform uses mobile and cloud technology to provide friendly, efficient and affordable means of delivering goods across Kenya and the region by accessing the fleet and network of trucks in the app.
It is said that an efficient transport system is the lifeline of any economy. Mwangi believes that Amitruck is revolutionary because a well-coordinated transport and logistics infrastructure feeds productivity into all other sectors, boosting effective delivery of products and services, and ultimately increasing the overall national output.
The app works in the following simple steps:
- A customer books a delivery using the mobile app.
- The trucks in the designated area get a notification. They then send their quotes to the customer via the app. A client can also request his preferred price.
- The customer selects a quote based on price and rating.
- The payment is made but only released to the driver after confirmation of delivery.
The clients have options to choose the kind of vehicle they desire on the platform and also key in pickup and drop off locations. These stops can be as many as the client requires, says the founder.
All the drivers on the platform have been vetted to ensure professionalism. They are also rated against the trips and services done.
Goods transported on the platform are also insured for free up to Ksh 500,000, with goods surpassing that insured for a given premium. The insurance covers theft, damages, onloading and offloading for a particular trip.
The benefits of this mobile app are multifaceted. It provides a customer with a secure, convenient and simple way of transporting their goods. Furthermore, clients have access to competitive rates and keep track of their goods while in transit.
The drivers and truck owners get access to more business besides their traditional network and have full control of their trucks and what jobs to partake.
Since starting up, Mwangi says the growth has been exciting. “We have over 500 individual drivers or truck owners and over 200 fleet owners some of whom have as many trucks as 500.”
The app is used by individuals and corporates. Notable corporate clients include ecommerce, agriculture, homeware and industrial consumers.
“Our biggest competition is traditional way of doing things as tech startups have barely scrapped the market,” he says adding that, “Market education will go a long way in creating awareness about the impact of tech on the logistics landscape. People should also adapt to new and efficient ways of doing things.”
Newchip, one of the top investment platforms in the world, has a track record of helping companies get funded with over USD 20M+ in investments into its companies. In 2018, they accepted Amitruck in their online accelerator.
“We are very excited to have Amitruck join the Newchip family,” remarked Ryan Rafols, Founder & CEO of Newchip. “The team impressed us from the start—we are eager to see how they take Amitruck to the next level. They have a unique perspective on their market and what they’ve built so far shows great promise.”