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COVID-19 lockdown: Kobo360 seeks free movement of trucks lifting essential goods

Kobo360, a tech-enabled digital logistics platform, has called on the Federal Government to give a clear directive that would enable drivers of essential goods to move freely with correct identification in order to keep goods and services moving across the country.

According to the firm, since the Federal Government announced restriction of movement around the country to contain the spread of Coronavirus, over 3,000 drivers on the Kobo360 platform have parked their trucks on the assumption that trucks and cargo would be impounded by law enforcement agencies during this lockdown.

“This is a critical time for food security and trade, and we cannot afford to stop all trade or drastically disrupt and up-end the supply chain. Kobo360 is now on high alert, and foresees that agro-produce, medical and key items will run out across supermarkets and major markets in the next few days,” Towsyn Omowole, PR Account Executive of Wimbart Public Relations, said in a statement.

Stating that Kobo360 urgently wants the government to issue a clear statement that would make drivers not to be afraid of being arrested, Omowole said that there was a need for the drivers to come back to the road to keep the wheels of supply chain moving.

“Over the last couple of weeks, Kobo360 and Africa’s logistics industry as a whole have seen startling figures impacting trade and movement of goods. For instance, around 90 percent of vessels have delayed their arrival time by as much as 40 days; the volume of goods moved across the continent dropped by 30 percent; agro produce has the highest drop of 50 percent followed closely by pharmaceuticals with 40 percent drop, and a 25 percent drop in FMCG,” Omowole pointed out.

Comparatively, Omowole said that Kenya has the highest drop with about 40 percent in movement, Nigeria not far behind with 32 percent, while Uganda has increased its export by 100 percent.

“These numbers are expected to soar over the next few weeks, impacting manufacturers who depend on raw materials. With lockdown and border closures in Kenya, Nigeria and other African countries, Kobo360 is committed to keeping trucks on the road to ensure tens of millions of people do not go without food, sanitation goods and medical supplies,” Omowole added.

Continuing, Omowole noted that “Kobo360 is calling on African governments to continue to allow drivers with cargo to cross borders and ensure continuity of trade, so that essential goods can move freely, during these challenging times.

Omowole, however, assured that the firm uses preventive measures that include providing hand sanitizers to employees and drivers as well as implementing working from home order in certain jurisdictions to ensure safety.

Kobo360 also uses Global Logistics Operating System (G-LOS) which provides remote access to the supply chain by allowing for business continuity during the pandemic and facilitating a steady stream of trips.

Using G-LOS enables operations to continue without the need of physical interaction or pitching for jobs with cargo owners. It covers funding for trips, subsidized fuel, tyres and spare parts for maintenance.



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