The exorbitant shipping charges that importers are made to pay is no news at all. This often serves as a deterrent to many. Importing spare parts of cars or any other goods into the country is financially draining, therefore many would rather stay away from it.
Individuals also may come across some products online they would like to purchase and hopefully have them shipped into the country. Such people may also be deterred by the exorbitant shipping charges.
Is there a feasible solution to this problem? If you are business person or someone who usually ships goods into the country, this here, is for you.
We, at Mobile Web Ghana, are very much interested in the use of technology in solving both basic and big problems that Ghanaians face. As such, we are always intrigued by young tech-entrepreneurs who make the effort to use their expertise coupled with entrepreneurial skills to provide solutions to problems. One of such budding tech start-ups in the country at the moment is Iyris K.O. It is a startup that is aiming at bringing a revolution into the shipping industry in the country. Their app, Swiftly, helps people who want to ship goods from one place to another to share space in their container with others in order to cut down on the cost of shipping goods. This is a highly remarkable idea. The good news is, it is not just an idea but it has been materialized into a mobile app that was launched quite recently.
We interviewed Edem Dotse, the CEO of Iyris K.O. Here are some excerpts from the interview.
Tell us about swiftly?
Edem DOTSE: Swiftly is a peer to peer platform which enables people who want to ship from one location to another share extra space in their container or package when shipping by Sea or by Air to every location worldwide.It is really a waste of space when someone has to ship a half full container by sea, a half full package by air or hire a delivery service without fully utilizing the space in there. We aim to solve that by linking shippers to each other in order for them to share their extra space. Others also wish they could find someone to collaborate with to load a shipment, we are the matching platform for such people..
The users will share cost in this transaction thereby ensuring that they save money. There is also avenue for other users to earn money by listing their services as independent couriers in order to do private deliveries or run errands when contacted on the platform.
What prompted you to develop this app?
Edem DOTSE:Sometime back, I wanted to bring a gear box down from the UK, it could never happen because I didn’t get the opportunity to ship just that. Thereafter, and knowing very well that I wasn’t the only one who had experienced that, I decided to tackle the problem.
What does the name ‘swiftly’ connote with respect to the function of the app?
Edem DOTSE: Initially I wanted to name it Swift to connote the speed with which shipping can be done, but Apple has a programming language called Swift so I decided to name the app ‘Swiftly’.
Can u tell me briefly about the swiftly team?
Edem DOTSE: The team is made up of Myself, Chief Technical officer David Adoteye, Software Engineer Kindo Precious and Chief Financial Officer Lord Kumi.
Are you in partnership with any government agency or package delivery service?
Edem DOTSE: No, we are not at the moment, but going forward we would be happy to work with Government and all stakeholders.
How helpful do you think they can be to the success of the app?
Edem DOTSE: Support from Government and other bodies is indispensable, all over the world, tech companies thrive with the backing of these important bodies. We believe they can provide us with the support and relevant framework to help our business grow and thrive.
How much does a user have to pay to use the app?
Edem DOTSE: The Swiftly platform can be accessed by downloading the apps on the Google Playstore and Appstore free of charge . Find : Swiftly – Shipping & Delivery. We encourage Freight Forwarders worldwide to also go on forwarders.swiftlyweb.com to register for free.
How do u intend to generate income from the app?
Edem DOTSE: Our financial benefits will be from the Freight Forwarders, our unique relationship means that we bring them a lot of business and they in turn give us a pittance.
Who are the freight forwarders?
Edem DOTSE: Freight Forwarders are those who do the actual shipping and handling; they consist of Sea Freight, Air Freight and Road Freight Forwarders. Our job is to push the clients to them for the collaborative shipping.
What is the exact work of the Freight Forwarders?
Edem DOTSE: Swiftly works by pushing all matches made on the Platform to Freight Forwarders, the actual shipping process remains the same. The cargo goes through the same handling process and operated scanners with each party being registered as co-signees to the shipment. This means that there are no additional security risks to users of the Swiftly platform. The parties share cost with each getting for a cheaper and more affordable service. Our model greatly augments the work of freight forwarders, and we bring a lot of business to them.
Have you had some people use the app already?
Edem DOTSE: Yes, we have matches being made all the time, and our users are happy to be matched to others on the platform. We don’t want to leave it there but we want to take it a step further by connecting these matches made to Freight Forwarders, hence, we encourage Freight Forwarders worldwide to register on our platform.
How does your service ensure the safe delivery of goods?
Edem DOTSE: The shipping process does not change and so there is no additional risk to those who come on the Swiftly platform. Cargo still goes through the same handling processes and operated scanners.
In cases where users are not able to find another user to share space with, what happens?
Edem DOTSE: Because we work with the Freight Forwarders, we will find you one with the most favourable box-closing date who will add your cargo and ship it for you.
Are there new features you would like to add to the app in the coming months?
Edem DOTSE: We want to provide more convenience to our users and make sure we take over much of the burden of the shipping process. We will build a stronger team, a stronger support system for our users and add the extra amazing features we have got planned for the Swiftly platform.
In the next 5 years, how do you think the app will evolve?
Edem DOTSE: In the next 5 years we see Swiftly as the first point of call for everyone interested in moving cargo. Our business will catch on with everyone and those who hitherto could not afford shipping services will now be able to do so. We declare a golden age of business for freight forwarders, our strategic partners in this venture.
Screenshots of the app in operation.