Thumela Launches Last Mile Deliveries Platform
The South African startup transports parcels via trusted and vetted public taxi drivers who travel fixed routes.
Thumela said it has developed a counter-to-counter last-mile logistics solution to help e-commerce businesses and individuals send and collect parcels faster, cheaper, and more conveniently.
The logistics startup partners with tuck shops in townships or rural areas and businesses in or near public taxi ranks as drop-off and collection points.
Zamokuhle Thwala, Thumela Founder, said: “This is a problem that I experienced back in 2019 when I mistakenly forgot my laptop charger at home in eMatiwane, in a rural place in Ladysmith. I had an option to use one of the courier companies, but that meant my sister had to take a taxi to town and that it would take between 3-5 days for me to receive the parcel in Pietermaritzburg.”
“My friends suggested that we ask a taxi driver to bring it when coming to Pietermaritzburg. Surprisingly, the laptop charger was in Pietermaritzburg within three hours. That’s when the idea of Thumela was conceived, and with e-commerce booming, I thought now is the perfect time to work on the idea,” Thwala added.
“These are entrepreneurs who sell on e-marketplaces and on WhatsApp statuses – when the transaction is concluded, they use Thumela to ship products,” Thwala stated.
“There have been calls from prosperous customers to have Thumela points in areas like Ladysmith, Newcastle and Empangeni. And there’s been requests from customers in Johannesburg wanting to send parcels in Durban,” Thwala concluded.