The global maritime industry is said to oversee the movement and handling of over 800 million containers in ports worldwide, and Africa just controls just 12% of this volume (with its clearing and forwarding markets) and stands at $4 billion.
With that said, the continent’s freight space is stuck with challenges including fragmented payments, low visibility and documentation, port congestion and an opaque process of service providers.
All these challenges prompted Hio Sola-Usidame when he was running Logigrains (a start-up founded in 2016 and was involved in commodities trading and logistics). Sola went on and launched OnePort 365 three years later to tackle the issues that were visible in Africa’s freight management system.
The three-year-old company raised $5 million in an attempt to digitize freight management and also venture into new markets in Ghana and Nigeria. The seed round was led by Mobility 54, CFAO Group and the VC arm of Toyota Tsusho. The round also saw participating investors including some angel investors, Flexport, SBI Investments and ODX (a Singaporean syndicate fund).
The way OnePort operate is that they cover air freight, pay-as-you-go warehousing, marine insurance, inland haulage and custom brokerage. Raised funds will enable them to improve their efficiency and lower cross-border trading overhead across the continent.
In an interview with TechCrunch, the company indicates the funds will give them an edge and stand in the midst of the competition as the market for cross-border logistics revenue is said to hit $32 billion by 2025.
OnePort has indicated its intention to add more people to the team and expand to three major hubs across the continent before Q4 2022. Their performance will be ramped up and trade finance will be provided to the shippers.