Last Mile Delivery in Africa

April 14, 2023

The African last-mile delivery market was valued at USD 1.14 Billion in 2021. By 2030 this is expected to reach USD 2.35 Billion growing at 8.45% CAGR between 2022-2030. In Africa, last mile delivery plays a critical role in connecting suppliers with customers and ensuring that goods are delivered in a timely and efficient manner. However, the challenges faced in Africa with regards to infrastructure, logistics, and technology makes it a difficult task. Despite these challenges, its importance cannot be overstated.

 Africa is home to 1.3 billion people and 2 billion by 2050, last-mile delivery is a growing opportunity in the transport sector. African cities are seeing extraordinary growth, with over 60% of Africans expected to live in cities by 2030.

With this comes higher demands for efficient supply chains for growing urban areas and the remaining rural space to avoid expansion of the rural-urban divide. 2020 highlighted the extent of this crack in many local supply chains, but also accelerated the growing e-commerce in Africa.

One of the primary reasons why last mile delivery is important in Africa is that it helps to improve access to goods and services. In many parts of Africa, infrastructure is poor and access to basic goods and services is limited. It provides a means for people to receive the goods and services they need, even in areas that are difficult to access. This is particularly important in rural areas where transportation infrastructure is often non-existent or poorly developed.

Another important benefit of last mile delivery is that it supports economic growth. By connecting producers and suppliers with customers, it facilitates trade and commerce. This is particularly important in Africa where many small businesses struggle to access markets due to poor infrastructure and logistics. Last mile delivery provides these businesses with a means to reach customers and grow their businesses.

Last mile delivery also plays a crucial role in improving healthcare delivery in Africa. Many people in Africa lack access to basic healthcare services and medications. This can help to bridge this gap by ensuring that medicines and medical supplies are delivered to remote areas. This can be particularly important during times of crisis such as disease outbreaks or natural disasters.

In addition to improving access to goods and services, last mile delivery can also have a positive impact on the environment. By reducing the need for people to travel to stores to purchase goods, last mile delivery can help to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. This can be particularly important in cities where air pollution is a major problem.

Despite the importance, there are many challenges that still need to be overcome. Infrastructure, logistics, and technology are all major challenges that need to be addressed. However, with the right investments and policies, these challenges can be overcome. Governments, businesses, and other stakeholders need to work together to develop innovative solutions that can help to improve last mile delivery in Africa.

Despite these challenges, there are several innovative solutions being developed to improve last mile delivery in Africa. For example, some companies like Shapshap are using mobile technology to track deliveries and optimize delivery routes. Others are developing new delivery models, such as the use of bike couriers in urban areas.

In conclusion, last mile delivery plays a critical role in Africa by improving access to goods and services, supporting economic growth, improving healthcare delivery, and reducing environmental impact. Whilst there are many challenges that need to be overcome, the benefits are too important to ignore. By working together to develop innovative solutions, we can ensure that last mile delivery in Africa is efficient, effective, and sustainable.

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