The provision of ready-made logistics and distribution centres across East Africa can stimulate e-commerce growth. Ecommerce firms should focus on their core business (delivering products to customers) and move from traditional land ownership, which is costly to acquire, develop, and takes time.
Africa Logistics Properties (ALP) CEO Richard Hough echoed these sentiments in a breakfast meeting that brought stakeholders in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector.
Mr. Hough said East African markets should speed up and align with international logistics best practices to stimulate business growth.
In addition, grade-A warehouses act as a logistics and distribution center leased out to firms. Ecommerce firms benefit through a reduction in distribution fleet costs due to the centrality of operations.
On top of that, e-commerce entities can have tailor-made warehousing solutions to address their specific needs. Besides, planned warehouses are convenient and reliable due to accessibility. For instance, the location of ALP Nairobi North center is along the Northern and Eastern bypasses.
Furthermore, e-commerce firms can eliminate shipping and transportation challenges thus allowing them to concentrate on their core business and establishing effective use of technology.
Case study: Copia
Copia is one such firm that is reaping the benefits of a planned logistics and distribution centre. Copia enables households to access goods that would otherwise be difficult to access without travelling to a major city.
In this case, Copia distributes products from the Tatu City centre to Naivasha, Embu, and Western Region such as Kisumu and Bungoma. As a last-mile delivery solution, there is tracking of lorries dispatching the products to over 4100 agents across the country.
The firm leverages e-commerce uptake in medium and low-income subcategory selling products such as personal care, households, electronics, food, health, school supply, construction, and farm.