Linebooker – SA’s home grown ‘Uber’ of trucking, in four years already the size of Big Four, growing at over 10% a month

Four years ago, Naude Rademan and Nick Hoffman – long-time warehouse logistics and supply chain executives, founded Linebooker – the ‘Uber’ of trucking. They used their insight to work out a tech-driven solution for some obvious problems for both transporters and those who needed freight moved. Backed by Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Capital, their disruptive business has boomed and is continuing to grow exponentially as participants in the highly fragmented industry become exposed to the benefits of greater efficiencies, lower cost and improved cash flow. In this podcast, Rademan takes BizNews editor Alec Hogg through the business model, which has already made Linebooker into an operation rivalling SA’s Big Four logistics groups and explains why it is delivering over 10% a month compounded growth that’s expected to continue for years to come.

On the development of Linebooker

Myself and my co-founder, Nick have been working in warehousing and logistics most of our lives. So, we felt the pain of trying to organise transport while we were running warehouses. At some stage, we just thought with all the new technology that is available, there must be an easier way to co-ordinate customers and transport companies. That’s where the idea started.

On how to get involved with Linebooker

For most transport, there’s an online registration process and our team will do the vetting for the transport companies, so we check all the credentials and quality of the fleet. Once a transport company passes the vetting process, they will be able to see loads that come over Linebooker. That can be ad hoc loads as well as contracts. We also run contracts for customers so they can take part in the tender for fixed contract work, which they probably would never have been able to get if they’re a new or smaller transport company for a large corporate business.

For more information on Linebooker click here.

On Linebooker’s payment arrangement

If you talk to most transport company owners, their sleepless nights come from cash flow and any delay in payment; the cash-flow intensive business. For them, that’s a massive risk in taking on new business. The Linebooker offering guarantees that a transport company will be paid in 30 days regardless of whether the customer or large corporates have got 60-day or 90-day payment terms. We will make sure they get paid in 30 days. It is a very important part of our business to give the benefit to the transport companies. We will deal with the large corporates if there is some dispute on a document or payment terms as that is our business. We just want the transport companies to be able to drive.

On the sign-up process

The misconception at times is that we deal only with an ad hoc load model, but customers can register online and complete some details and then they’ll have immediate access to, for instance, the ad hoc transport requests. But for a lot of large businesses, our technology also runs their fixed contract work. We can connect them on contract work with all the best transport companies in the country and they can run a tender process through our platform and select fixed contract transporters to run for them. The ad hoc transport portal is also always available, so larger businesses will probably do 80% fixed contract, and keep 20% percent on the ad hoc side of Linebooker. For smaller entrepreneurs, it is probably much easier just to put ad hoc loads on in 30 minutes. They’ll get a truck, accept it and Linebooker looks after it.

On the key benefits of Linebooker

The key thing is technology. So, you stay with your current provider but put technology in place. It will save your operations team and transport service provider 30% in time spent. You’ll all have immediate visibility of where every container or truck is; things that are currently done by phone calls, WhatsApp and email. Nobody really knows and it takes an hour to give a customer an update on the truck. This is where we differ, it’s the one benefit. The other one is if that type of business runs the tender through our platform to a large base of transport companies, the potential is you will be sure you are at the right market price for transport. It might be your current service provider or somebody else, but it’s good business practice to run tenders frequently.

For more information on Linebooker click here.

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