App links shippers, transporters

Matchbox – named for its ability to match ‘boxes’ or containers with transporters – is a free new app that connects shippers and transporters directly in real time. The idea was conceived in April 2016 by a team with over 40 years’ combined experience in logistics in Africa.

Founder Anton Potgieter says, “We’re industry insiders and could clearly see the gap in the market. We started Matchbox to simplify the current process to find, book, track and pay for road transport in Africa. There is similar tech successfully operating in the US and Asia that can clearly work here in South Africa that will bring transparency and efficiency to road transport and reduce the cost of logistics in Africa.”

Transporters and shippers stand to benefit from the app as it aims to assist owner-operators, local and regional fleets to increase their loads and expand business. Transporters can look forward to eliminating wasted space by signing up for alerts to nearby jobs being auctioned to the best bidder while in turn typically offering shippers a lower rate than current industry standards.

Tommy van Deventer, owner of Euroblitz, says, “I found a load on Matchbox for one of my trucks that needed a return load from Durban. I quoted and my quote was accepted by the cargo owner, all of this was done within 30 minutes, online and without one phone call.”

The app’s Transport Management System (TMS) helps transporters manage their fleet and assign drivers to respond to jobs. Driver David Moghatla says, “I downloaded the Matchbox app on my phone and my manager could send me all the load details straight on the phone, it was easy.”

Development was finalised in January 2017, with rigorous testing preceding its August launch.

According to Potgieter, its benefits include:

  • Allowing shippers to choose their transporters from a verified database that lists their ratings from customers as well as their ongoing performance.
  • Live tracking is available on each load with free Transport Management Service for each transporter.
  • Transporters bid on each load, which ensures shippers get the best rates and transporters increase productivity.
  • Fast pay is enabled via electronic PODs and options for payment on POD.
  • Matchbox vets and verifies all transporters on the platform with goods in transit insurance in place.

Plans are under way for deployment in East Africa next year.

“Whether you are a shipper or a transporter, logistics are made easier and more efficient via the online support and live chat. Matchbox gives you end-to-end control of all your shipments through one compact portal,” concludes Potgieter.

Matchbox is available for Android and currently operates in the South African market.