VoLTE still a hard sale in Africa

VoLTE's mixed

Echo Mobile executive
offers perspective.

Friday, Apr 19th

SA fuel distribution firm uses drones to compete

SA fuel distribution firm uses drones to compete

A new black-owned logistics company servicing the KZN and inland fuel depot route is taking on larger transport companies by using drones, go-pro and media production software to map out transport routes, providing drivers with an electronic journey plan.

The company uses drones to plan routes, monitor driver safety and provide customers with two-hourly updates on the estimated time of arrival to the depots.

Wesley Naidoo, co-owner of Crusade Logistics, said, "We mark out the routes first with drones to give drivers visual cues and familiar landmarks on an electronic journey plan. We have seen a marked improvement in driver safety and it also reduces the risk of trucks getting lost with a full load of fuel onboard."

Currently bridging fuel for Chevron South Africa and the Caltex Brand in South Africa's Kwa-Zulu Natal province, the 51% Black-owned and 30% Black female-owned fuel hauler recently secured Enterprise and Supplier Development (E&SD) funding from Chevron South Africa to expand its business.

According to a statement issued, Chevron South Africa's E&SD programme was established to improve opportunities for new black-owned entrants to drive transformation through its value chain.

Chevron South Africa's Fleet Operations Manager, Noma Dumse added, "Start-up firms are held to the same exacting standards as more established suppliers and while there can be significant barriers to entry for new entrants, we are keen to enable their success by providing them with business opportunities within our fuel supply chain."

"Chevron South Africa supports innovative and affordable funding mechanisms for the participation of black entrepreneurs in the fuel supply chain. E&SD funding is one of the best methods to allow for the development of black-owned small and medium enterprises and their increased participation in the mainstream economy."

Naidoo added, "The interest free E&SD funding and the fuel bridging contract with Chevron South Africa have boosted our cashflow and improved our access to additional credit, allowing us to expand our fleet from two to 14 trucks."

In September 2017 Shane Wall, HP CTO and Global Head of HP Labs spoke of tech megatrends impacting on the Africa market, and referenced Rwanda as an example – where drones are being used by the government to deliver blood platelets to remote areas.

"The ability to develop a unique service, test it out, to solve the real problems here, and for that to scale to other parts of the world. It's an indigenous technology creation that I think can impact the world," said Wall.