Today, we have the pleasure of conversing with Olusola Ademola, the visionary behind Transpota, a transformative venture aiming to revolutionize the trucking industry.
Hailing from Oyo Alaafin, Olusola has seen significant issues plaguing the trucking sector. His passion was ignited by the industry’s glaring inefficiencies and longstanding problems, coupled with the immense potential for positive change and societal benefits.
Reflecting on his initial exposure to trucking in 2007, Olusola vividly recalls the frustration of logistical hurdles, such as the adverse weather conditions impacting container transportation from Tincan port. This experience served as a motivation for him to go into the trucking business.
Stay tuned as Olusola Ademola shares his insights into the trucking industry and the transformative impact of Transpota, his trucking and logistic company.
Personal Journey and Vision
Can you share your journey and what inspired you to create Transpota? How do your background and experiences shape your vision for the company?
Oh, well, this question is 3 in 1 combo, and I will answer it the same way, but my journey has been very long, smooth and rough and considering our limited time, I’ll scratch the first part on the surface. My name is Olusola Ademola; I was born and raised in Oyo Alaafin, and to be honest with you, so many things inspired me to embark on the path of creating Transpota. The nagging issues in the trucking industry that have remained unresolved for years, the waiting benefits the stakeholders, and the society stand to gain from a properly working and organized trucking system, plus the opportunities we could tap into.
Here’s the thing: what I mean by nagging issues are those problems we can all agree to say yes, these are BIG issues, but we choose to look away, keep enduring, or expect the government to put things all in place. My first encounter with trucking was in 2007 when I needed to move a container from Tincan port. It was raining seriously, and everyone I called for truck availability was like, can you wait for the rain to stop? Then, we can look for a flatbed to pick up your container. This may not count in other businesses, but it matters in the import/export business because demurrage never gets paused for the rains to stop.
One part of my head was thinking, oh, this is normal because the practice is to reach out to Mr A, who doesn’t own a truck himself. Then MR A goes through Mr B, C, and sometimes up to Mr D before they get to Mr E, who is the truck owner (That’s one big tree of a problem with many branches). The information flow from Mr A to the actual truck owner, Mr E, is either under-presented or over-presented, as one Yoruba proverb says (Oro okeere, bi o lekan, a si dinkan) meaning, what you hear from distant parties can never be accurate, it’s always +/- 1.
The information we are talking about is critical to the survival of businesses, the final cost of goods in the market, and the safety of truck drivers and other road users. The price, weight, description and last delivery address are parts of the information that are usually wrongly presented, posing a threat to businesses and society. That same issue of 17 years ago remains the same, and that is the least of the problems we are coming to solve with TRANSPOTA.
To the third part of your question about how my background and experiences align with the vision I have for Transpota, well, I mean myself as an individual; I have been in the industry for almost 2 decades, and my degrees (Bachelor and Master) are in Transport and Logistics, my master thesis is about trucking services in Nigeria, I have represented cargo owners, I have imported and exported, I have had countless transactions and interactions with truckers, drivers and brokers.
Collectively as a team, Afis Adebayo has over 5 years of field experience as a freight forwarder, and Abiodun Obadina and Ayotunde Okeowo have been in the system for over 15 years with experiences in truck management, relationship with drivers and all. I remember Ayotunde once had his container of pharmaceutical products hijacked at gunpoint; he was in the truck with the driver when it happened. These are first-hand experiences money cannot buy; we understand the real issues from accessibility, visibility, driver scarcity, lack of data, insurance gap, no load for truckers on return trips, cargo and driver safety, the safety of other road users, the impacts on the environment and many more. We have seen the industry’s good, bad and ugly.
As the founder of Transpota, what are your long-term aspirations for the company? How do you see Transpota evolving and contributing to the transportation landscape in Nigeria, and what impact do you hope it will have on both investors and customers?
We have many problems to solve in the Nigerian trucking industry, not just within the maritime space but in general; the first set of values we are offering from day 1 are accessibility, visibility, insurance gap, transparency and safety of drivers and road users. With accessibility, this means no matter your truck need, you have access to the services; whether you plan to relocate and you need covered trucks to move your stuff, you have access to the trucks you need, gas or filling stations with a need for tankers, you have access to these trucks, and you don’t need to start calling people around to find a truck.
Visibility means your cargo is visible all the time for all of the time it’s going to be in transit. You can easily use our In-App tracking feature to know exactly where your cargo is; this lets you plan better. Even if delivery time is going to change, you get to know this quickly and can prepare for any eventual changes.
The insurance gap issue is solved directly from our App; you don’t need to visit or call any insurance agent to insure your cargo in transit; our In-App insurance feature gives you the flexibility that you need; you choose if you want insurance, the premium is automatically calculated based on the information provided, and premium is added to the final cost of trucking, all of these are done within few seconds In-App.
We also bring the utmost transparency to the table as we make the whole process so transparent that truck and cargo owners can negotiate prices and conditions. In-app, truck owners receive feedback on their drivers, and drivers earn rewards for positive ratings. When truck drivers are nicely treated and are happy, even society benefits from that because there will be more sanity on the roads; as a regular road user, I have travelled from Yola to Lagos by road and even more.
I will not shy away from the fact that accidents are caused by trucks and lives are lost due to truck accidents. I have seen it happen, and TRANSPOTA plans to use our platform to push for some changes in that aspect. If people genuinely desire these changes, the least they can do is get on our platform.
Most truck drivers who drive carelessly are unhappy with their condition, and there needs to be a proper system to check or sanction lousy truck drivers. We want truck drivers to be respected, we want truck drivers to be responsible, and we want truck driving to be attractive. When we achieve this, then our roads become safer. That’s the fundamental way to fix it.
Back to the first part, if Nigeria has many trucking issues, then there are even many more in sub-Sahara Africa. We plan to make cross-border trucking seamless as we grow, but it’s one load at a time. With the proper implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, our trucking process can be nearly as seamless as in the EU, where a Lithuanian registered truck quickly takes cargo to Germany or a manufacturing company in Belgium distributes to Latvia with a truck. I understand infrastructure can be an issue, but we have to first put in place a working structure, and this is the AfCFTA; this kind of expansion is what we have in plan where we grow to solve continental issues.
For the investors, we are tapping into a big market; the Nigeria Freight and Logistics Market size is estimated at USD 15.45 billion in 2024 and is expected to reach USD 20.58 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 5.90% during the forecast period (2024-2029). This is a vast market that is truly sensitive. Still, with our experience and industry knowledge, all of the areas are our familiar terrains, and we can navigate successfully. The non-monetary values on their investment are the changes we bring to the environment in terms of reducing carbon emissions and also to society in terms of making our roads safer.
For the customers, truck owners get more loads and making empty return trips will be reduced; they don’t have to go to the yard waiting for brokers to bring loads; they can find and accept loads on our platform from the comfort of their home. They become more organized with access to trip records and other data as they also have eyes on their trucks while on active trips.
For cargo owners and other individuals with truck needs, reasonable prices as in-app negotiations are allowed, as are on-the-spot insurance, visibility, accessibility, and more. Other things we consider are;
- Enhanced Speed and Efficiency: We leverage technology to match shipments with available trucks in real-time, cutting down on lead times and ensuring expedited deliveries.
- Transparent Pricing and Cost Savings: We eliminate hidden fees and provide transparent pricing mechanisms, allowing shippers to make informed decisions and optimize logistics costs.
- Simplified Booking and Management: We offer a user-friendly platform where shippers can easily book shipments, track their progress, and manage their logistics needs. Drivers earn more with rewards from positive ratings, they can receive tips from happy cargo owners who wish to show them love, as the streets would say it, they have insurance cover on every trip, they become better with workshops and training, and they earn more respect.
- Transporters/Brokers/Public: From experience, not every cargo owner will be interested in creating a profile; anyone can become a broker by registering on our platform, finding a load, requesting a truck on our platform using their unique referral code and earning a commission up to 5% of processing fee per transaction, their commission goes directly to their In-App Wallet which they can withdraw to their Bank accounts anytime they wish.
Establishing Online Presence; Digital Narrative
Crafting a compelling digital narrative is crucial. How would you describe Transpota’s story in a way that resonates with a broad online audience, including potential investors and customers?
Well, our story is accurate, and the problems we are coming to solve are there for everyone to see; in the bustling world of commerce, the movement of goods is the lifeblood of the economy. Yet, the trucking industry has been plagued by inefficiencies, fragmented networks, and a lack of transparency for decades. TRANSPOTA, a rising force, is here to redefine the trucking process and transform how goods are transported.
At the heart of this revolution lies a simple yet powerful concept:
- Connecting shippers with a vast network of truck drivers
- Streamlining the entire logistics process
- Optimizing efficiency across the supply chain
TRANSPOTA seamlessly connects shippers seeking transportation with truck drivers and truck owners looking for cargo to carry and under this umbrella we have many value-added services.
As the founder, how do you communicate your vision for Transpota, and how does this vision align with the aspirations of investors and the needs of customers?
We have goals to solve the trucking issues and the impacts they bring on the environment and society, we have goals for expansion, and we have goals for diversification without losing focus; this is not what we just woke up and decided to do; we have been on this for approximately 6 years.
TRANSPOTA presents a compelling investment opportunity with a robust business model, a scalable technology platform, and a committed and passionate team. Our company is poised for rapid growth and profitability, driven by the following factors:
- Large and Growing Market: The global trucking industry is valued at over $4 trillion and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4% in the coming years. Considering how long we have been in the industry, it would be a joke on ourselves if we were just another company. We have also conceived this concept for years, and now is the perfect time. Market dominance is our target, and we want to be another name for African trucking. That is the kind of company we want to build, and this explains what the investors stand to benefit from. We understand the problems and have the solutions; this is money. According to Robert Kiyosaki, “Money is a reward for solving problems” It’s a Win-Win situation for everyone.
- Unique and Innovative Solution: Our technology platform addresses critical industry challenges and offers shippers, truckers, and insurance providers a differentiated value proposition.
- Scalable Business Model: Our platform is designed for scalability, enabling us to meet the growing demand for efficient and sustainable logistics solutions.
- Experienced and Dedicated Team: Our team comprises industry experts with a proven track record of success in logistics, technology, corporate law and business development.
Trust is vital for attracting investors and customers. What measures does Transpota take to build and maintain trust as a business, especially in a market where reliability is critical?
Do you know the reason I’m not alone in this? I don’t want to start a company that solves a problem on a Friday, dies on a Saturday, and the problem resurfaces on a Sunday. This is not a one-person start-up, and everyone on the team has the attribute the Yorubas call Omoluabi, which means a person of integrity, which is very important. Potential investors are welcome to propose their terms, and we will look at these proposals to see if they align with our vision. Even if the proposals have exit terms for the founders, what I find most important is to see these problems solved.
Unique Selling Point
What makes Transporta different from other logistics companies, and how do you plan to stand out and offer your services to customers in a way that they find it irresistible to patronize your company?
We understand the industry and the problems because we have been at both the giving and receiving ends. We have experienced the manual processes as individuals in everything we want to do with Transpota, which is why we are not coming as just another company. There are several logistics companies, but they are our potential customers and not competitors; we don’t own a truck or plan to own one, so we are on different paths. You may have any trucking aggregator company in mind. Still, as far as I or anyone who is an active player in the trucking industry know, there has never been any start-up that truly disrupted the market. The features we offer are irresistible, and we even have more to add later, but we are taking it one load at a time.
Investment Value Proposition
What critical aspects of Transpota’s business model and growth potential do you emphasize to make it an attractive investment opportunity?
Thank you for this question; we don’t own a truck and don’t plan to own one, as I said before, but we have flexibility in business models due to our experience and society. Not only a few businesses can boast of this in our industry, but Our B2B model is for businesses like the logistics companies you mentioned earlier, trucking companies, manufacturing companies, freight forwarding companies, gas and filling stations, and FCMG companies. Our B2C model is for individuals like drivers, truck owners, transporters, shippers and other individuals with a need for trucking services; this also includes people looking to relocate and in need of trucks to move their stuff, a DJ looking for a van to carry his equipment or an Owambe musician looking to move his instruments.
We also have solutions to some of the issues and challenges in seaports and terminals in Africa; this is where our B2G model comes into play, as we are willing to enter into a PPP agreement with the government to solve issues around the ports. The maritime space is a big one, and so are the challenges, especially in this part of the world, but there are no problems without a solution; you just have to look in the right direction. These are all areas where investors make their profits.
Transparency in Financial Communications
Investors appreciate transparency. How does Transpota ensure transparent financial communication online, providing potential investors with the necessary information to make informed decisions?
I believe this is a familiar question, but if we identify a lack of transparency as a problem that needs to be solved in the target market, are we going to allow a lack of transparency in our dealings with customers or investors? Never. We have our white paper on our website; this is an example of how far we are willing to go regarding transparency and accountability.
Engaging customers requires a customer-centric approach. How does Transpota create content that promotes its services and addresses the needs and interests of its target customers?
Yes, we have many activities mapped out: campaigns, sensitization, community engagements and so on. We are willing to go the extra mile to ensure our messages of responsible truck drivers, safer roads and a cleaner environment are well delivered without deviating from our goals, but you see, all these things are connected, and that’s one good way to solve problems from the foundation.
Building a customer base involves interaction. How can Transpota use online platforms to interact with customers, gather feedback, and create a community around its services?
Transpota and every business need an online presence, so we are taking this seriously to understand the power of social media and taking advantage of it. We also have an In-App feedback collection feature, but we are continuing there as only users can make use of that; how about the non-users who might want to suggest or make a report? We have social media accounts for Transpota, and are waiting to connect with the public.