Updated: Feb 5, 2020
For those living on the continent of Africa, getting access to quality products and brands used to require traveling overseas, but the dynamics has changed for the continent especially for the largest country in Africa, Nigeria. E-commerce has made it extremely easy for people to have access to quality brands and products right from the comfort of their homes. Nigerians are known for being trendy and stay up to date with the latest fashion and gadgets. While a handful still have the opportunity to travel overseas, the recent ban of Nigerians in the United States by President Trump, will drastically increase the dependency on technology for those who still desire to shop quality products.
Today, any Nigerian who has an access to a smart device can order products online and have it delivered to their door step. That is because company’s like CargoAtlantic has bridge the gap, creating a platform for Nigerians to order any product in places like the United States and have it shipped to them within five days or less.
Segun Adu & Ibukun Alimi the founders of CargoAtlantic, which has its headquarters in Philadelphia, U.S.A stated that they started Cargoatlantic because there was no functional air freight company in Philadelphia for people who wanted to ship items to Nigeria, which meant they had to travel or mail their packages to New York to get them shipped to Nigeria.
It was this idea that gave birth to their company which now serves both Nigerians in the Diaspora who want to ship items back home and those in Nigeria who would like to place an order online and have it delivered it to them.
They are able to operate their business model successfully as a result of leveraging technology. With their mobile app Shipmyshopping a customer can know when their order has been delivered to the warehouse, shipped to Nigeria, arrives in Nigeria, and delivered to their home address, with the exception of some interior locations that they may not be able to deliver to. In such cases, the consignee may have to pickup from the closest major town.
One of the secrets to their success thus far is mitigating risk. Segun stated that:
“Everyone registering on our platform to use our service is required to provide their government-issued ID. We also have internally developed red flags that we use to intercept and put a package on hold. Sometimes we ship the package eventually, after getting authorization from the sender. However, sometimes we return the package to the sender.”
They are not limiting their business model to Nigeria alone. In the future, they have plans to expand to other African countries. According to Segun “our mobile app has the capability to serve customers from multiple countries. So, we are in the process of building strategic relationships to facilitate the expansion.”