Interview with the CEO, Naudé Rademan
Hundreds of South African businesses have moved their transport operations online onto the Linebooker platform in the last 2 years. Why did this happen so quickly?
We always believed that a simple solution – something like Uber, AirBnB, Takealot, and Amazon – was needed in the transport industry, so we created a central coordination platform that is easy to operate. Customers are able to sign in and transact on Linebooker in minutes, and Linebooker delivers up to double-digit savings. I believe that both the ease of use of the platform and the savings delivered were the major drivers of current growth.
With the substantial further investment by Dr Patrice Motsepe’s ARC and partners in September 2020 we are able to further enhance the ease of use of the platform and expand the network.
Who is currently using Linebooker?
Linebooker currently services over 270 customers - blue chip corporates, mega-farmers, and privately owned businesses, big and small - and 13 200 trucks from 323 top transport companies in South Africa and Africa.
Linebooker provides small businesses with the same bargaining power as large corporates with access to the same high service levels and quality fleets. Whether you have one load or 300 loads per day, with the Linebooker platform you get the best transport lane rates in the market and consistent vehicle supply.
What are potential customers’ biggest concerns?
Potential customers sometimes assume Linebooker is another transporter or transport service provider, and they are concerned that they will have to replace their current long-term service providers.
Linebooker technology was built to make communication and operational coordination between customers and transporters more efficient. Customers can choose to use the Platform Allocation option to coordinate loads and trucks with their current service providers, and deliver a 30% work hour saving for their logistics teams as well as their current transport providers.
Customers can also choose to use the Linebooker Bidding option, which gives immediate access to all other SA transporters without having to sign up any new providers. This option provides extra supply or better lane rate pricing, with more than 323 transport companies and 13 200 trucks available on the platform.
The customer is able to switch between the Linebooker Allocation option (fixed lane rate) and the Linebooker Bidding option (variable lane rate). Most large customers use the Linebooker platform with 70% of loads allocated to their current service providers on fixed contract pricing, while having 30% published on the Linebooker bidding option for better lane rates or extra supply.
For smaller customers we advise using the bidding option for 100% of loads, which eases the administration burden and achieves similar rates as those paid by large corporates with large volume leverage.
Most businesses experience seasonal truck supply issues. How does Linebooker handle this?
This is an issue most businesses face using traditional transport execution methods, and it causes major stress during seasonal peaks. Most customers pay their current service providers a premium during low season with the understanding that they will have supply during seasonal peaks, so it is understandable that customers are upset when trucks are not available during high season.
Transparency is one of our key principles – from our experience in the industry there is no such thing as 100% guaranteed supply during seasonal peaks, even if it is promised. The best solution is to be transparent, and plan with the client for supply bottlenecks.
Most companies who are not on the Linebooker platform traditionally communicate with only two to six transport companies, while Linebooker gives customers access to 323! Many hours of frustrating communication with transport companies is replaced by Linebooker’s technology, which allows communication with 13 200 trucks within 30 minutes.
During the 2020 peak season, we saw an increase in new customers publishing loads as they were unable to secure vehicles from their current providers and turned to the Linebooker network to meet demand.
Transport operations have been run a certain way for 20 years. How do you manage resistance to change and the perceived effort required?
Change is never easy, but looking at the on-going frustrations caused by managing transport, the benefits of utilising smart technology just cannot be ignored.
The current manual process in place at many companies is as follows:
1. Company operator calls a couple of approved transporter vendors and asks if they have trucks available
2. If yes, they negotiate the price without any factual data on prevailing market rates
3. Then the customer operator emails or WhatsApps load details to transporter
4. Transporter WhatsApps or emails back the details of the truck that will collect the load.
5. There is no way to view the progress of the load – has it been loaded, arrived, etc. A multitude of calls are needed daily between different departments to figure out what the status of the load is (every single day, for every load).
6. Then finance comes into play and everyone is chasing proof of delivery (POD) documentation between departments to close off each load transported.
7. The most concerning of all however is that senior executives have zero data or a view of what is happening with their transport service and the cost implications. In most businesses transport is one of the top three spend lines, but has minimal supervision due to the lack of transparent data or live updates.
Linebooker’s technology releases savings for customers by focusing on three main areas:
1. The platform consolidates communication online in real time, in one place.
2. Publish on Linebooker – Book the load – Update truck details – Update status – Upload POD (live and visible to all)
3. The platform makes pricing transparent and gives a view of prevailing market rates live daily via the bidding platform, whilst ensuring customers always have a truck available out of the 13 200 trucks on the network. (Have you ever been confused by the different rates quoted for the same route and truck?)
4. Linebooker provides real time data to executives and sales teams so they can easily spot areas where they can save costs and or improve service levels. (How do you know you are paying market related lane rates? Can you provide factual service level data to your customer?)
How do potential customers join Linebooker?
Customers can immediately access the Linebooker Bidding platform by registering as a customer on the Linebooker website www.linebooker.com.
Complete all details and you will be able to publish a load immediately. There is no commitment to accept the load once bidding has closed and you will get an immediate feel for the process. If accepted, Linebooker will handle operational execution, risks and payments.
For customers wanting to move their current transport operations onto Linebooker, register on the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It takes two days to move your current transport operations onto the Linebooker platform and see immediate benefits. All your current transporters are more than likely already active on Linebooker daily, which means no training or implementation hassles. Simply publish loads to your selected transporters. The entire process is cloud-based, quick, and entails no implementation fees.
You can choose to leave execution and payment (one vendor) to Linebooker’s experienced team, while you get your updates and data online.
This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by Linebooker.