Toyota Tsusho Invests $2 Million in African Start-up Company to Promote Digitalizition of Logistics. Platform Warring States Period.

Hello, it’s IINO.

I would like to broadcast IINO san’s Logistics Radio.

Today, I would like to talk about “Toyota Tsusho Invests in African Logistics Platform to Accelerate Digitalization of Logistics in Africa.”

Daily Logistics Radio by IINO san in 18th May 2022

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Toyota Tsusho Invests in Nigerian Company

Toyota Tsusho announced on May 11 that it will invest $2 million in OnePort, a Nigerian company developing a digital platform that enables international logistics arrangements.

OnePort is a start-up company established in 2020.

OnePort’s Services

Shippers can use OnePort’s Platform to estimate ocean freight rates, make and track reservations, apply for customs clearance, and estimate and arrange marine insurance for imports and exports to and from Africa.

It is truly a digital forwarder’s platform.

The digitalization movement is also emerging in Japan, and similar functions will be available in Africa.

Current State of African Ports

In general, each port in Africa has its own management system and business practices, and there is a mixture of parts of the logistics process that can be digitized and parts that require analog handling.

This analog handling is the tricky part, as it mainly uses paper, and there are concerns about loss and other problems.

In Nigeria, more than 50 companies are using OnePort’s Platform, and in April, the service was launched in Ghana.

Digitalization of African Logistics by Toyota Tsusho

Toyota Tsusho has invested in this project through a group company, Mobility 54 Investment.

Mobility54 has been promoting the efficiency and digitization of logistics in Africa through investments in Sendy in Kenya, which operates a digital logistics Platform in East Africa, and Kamtar in Cote d’Ivoire, which operates the same Platform in West Africa.

The article concludes by saying that by investing in OnePort, Toyota Tsusho intends to work to resolve issues in the African logistics sector.

Africa’s Leapfrogging

The African market is experiencing Leapfrogging, as technologies from developed countries enter the market.

Leapfrogging refers to the use of technology from developed countries to develop at once what has been steadily built up in other countries.

Often, Japan has already developed and deployed technology to some extent successfully, so the introduction of technology has not progressed.

However, in the case of African logistics, there is absolutely no way to know where the cargo is going without the inclusion of technology.

There is no tracking system at all, and there may be theft. So the idea is to introduce technology at once.

Platform Warring States Period

I often receive inquiries from platformers from my English YouTube Channel.

It seems that all of them are developing their platforms and it is like a platform warring era.

Will it be a big project like Japan’s Trade Waltz and someone will unify, or will there be platform winners in each region or field?

I think the industry players are paying attention because I think we will see more movement in the next few years.

That’s all for today. Thank you.