Linebooker, SA’s Uber for freight, beats stress test after month-on-month growth accelerates to 20%

With 17,000 trucks now on its platform, Linebooker’s momentum continued to accelerate helped by its system’s smooth management during SA’s peak freight moving quarter. CEO and co-founder Naude Rademan explains to Alec Hogg of BizNews that month-on-month growth accelerating from 10% to 20%, the “Uber for trucks” has proved to be fully scalable – with many new clients attracted in recent months as their traditional processes were disrupted by weather and other unique issues.

Find Timestamps of the Interview Below:

  • Naude Rademan on Linebooker’s monthly growth rates – 00:01:10
  • On being an “Uber for trucks” – 00:01:50
  • On when the hypergrowth began – 00:02:40
  • On planning ahead for future growth – 00:03:21
  • On the Transnet situation – 00:06:26
  • On Linebooker making the movement of freight more efficient – 00:09:23
  • On customers using their online platform – 00:15:51

Naude Rademan on Linebooker’s monthly growth rates

In the last seven months, the pace has picked up a bit. Our compound monthly for the last seven months was above 20% a month. So we had to deal with a significant growth trend the last seven months, but everything went fairly well with no significant issues.

On being an “Uber for trucks”

As our credibility grows in the market, more and more customers are approaching Linebooker. I assume there’s lots of word of mouth in the industry, with some of the older customers that also compound in the back end. Some of the larger businesses that’ve been keeping an eye on Linebooker for the last three or four years are now ready to engage with trying something new as they hear the credibility is there and we’ve been able to successfully deal with some large businesses. So we assume that has pushed the growth. 

On when the hypergrowth began

We’ve been averaging around 10% for the last three years, but definitely from April-May. The numbers started pushing about 20% a month and that’s been sustained until today. So probably April-May this year. 

On planning ahead for future growth

What helped us is that technology was fine to handle the increased volume – so that technology helps handle most of it. But we definitely had to add some operational people into the system. From a runway perspective, it is a difficult one to call but the industry, 270 billion transport, so we still have a very small piece of the market, even if the growth rate is good. Sustaining 20% a month is going to be tough, but we think we can still maintain a good growth curve over the next couple of years. There’s still enough space in the market to move. 

On the Transnet situation

We are not necessarily close to exactly what’s happening at Transnet. We just get continuous approaches from customers and many of them say that especially in the mining sector, they now have to look at trucking more of their volumes than usual because they have issues with Transnet. But we don’t dive deep into what that is, we just get these requests still coming through. 

On Linebooker making the movement of freight more efficient

We try to use our technology to coordinate freight between customers and transport, but more efficiently. So we, say, sign up 17,000 trucks that we’ve already vetted the transport businesses, and then customers can log on to the platform on the other side and connect with these transport companies quickly and efficiently in different ways. You can connect on fixed rates for 12 months or six months. You can connect when you need a truck now or in the next 3 hours. So that coordination is a bit more efficient for the industry, probably a less empty load for the transporters, or they’ve got the visibility of more work to keep their trucks busy and customers that normally struggle with consistent supply, especially now from September to December, they’ve got access to more trucks. So your supply gets a bit better, especially when you’re in a crisis situation.

On customers using their online platform

We think that’s driven the growth in our volumes. The volume through our online platform has shown that there are more businesses comfortable to approach, looking for a new solution. The basics behind that is that most businesses struggle with consistent supply. So our principle is we give you access to a network that’s ten times as big as the one you’ve got now. So you should have better supply, more options, better flexibility if you can connect with 17,000 trucks versus 400. If the technology is efficient, then the speed’s there. The key is if you’ve got a bigger network to talk to, then you’ve got more options. If your volumes spike, there are more options. If something suddenly happens in the industry and you need more trucks or something happens to your current suppliers then you’ve got immediate access to more. The technology and everything else in the middle just makes it easier. 

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