By Bester Kayaye
In a bid to minimize haulage losses incurred as a result of encountering empty return trips, one of the local players in the transport sector, Fast Express Logistics and Courier (FASTEX), says they have introduced an exchange and backhauling management system that will help address the problem.
According to Patrick Chatangwa, Fastex CEO, the backhauling management program is saving transport companies from accruing lots of empty miles, which significantly contribute to unaccounted for wear and tear as well as soaring transportation costs.
“The major challenge that transporters in the country face include lack of an organized digital platform that can link them up in real time with companies or individuals who are seeking their services at a given time,” Chatangwa says.
“Fastex has come as a solution that will facilitate freight exchange by encouraging individuals and companies to register their transportation needs or enquiries on our platform,” explains the executive adding: “They can advertise empty trips and spaces in their vehicles at competitive rates.”
The platform, whose database currently has more than two hundred plus transporters exchanging market information, facilitates load sharing and back hauling, which are new concepts in Malawi but have significantly helped transport operators to fill empty trucks on their way back to a depot.
Chatangwa adds that companies that want to outsource transportation of their goods can as well capitalize on the concept and pay less than they would if they were to hire vehicles on their own.
“An empty truck is a loss to a company considering the skyrocketing fuel prices,” emphasises Chatangwa.
The program is very efficient and provides advance payment to assist transporters procure necessities such as fuel for the trips while the balance is paid on Cash On Delivery (COD) basis upon production of proof of delivery (POD).
Th Fastex CEO claims that their strong financial muscle is supported by financial instruments predominantly offered by their primary banker First Capital Bank (FCB).
Chatangwa highlights that a well consolidated freight exchange management programme is an ideal way to minimise high carbon emissions as advocated by environmental activists since it will reduce number of vehicles on the roads.
“As fleets face increasing pressure to decarbonise and local authorities look to reduce urban congestion, the benefits of consolidation become more apparent,” he points out adding he expects more transporters and shippers to subscribe to this management system, which currently targets two thousand transporters by mid this year.
Established in 2021 Fastex is a subsidiary of Chatangwa enterprises which was established in 2009 and incorporated in 2016.