SOUTH AFRICA – Nile, an agritech company that connects farmers to commercial buyers of fresh produce in Southern Africa via its online platform, has opened a state-of-the-art cross-docking facility in Pretoria, South Africa.

The docking station is aimed to hold the produces for only six hours or less before being collected for delivery to buyers in 35 cities and towns across Southern Africa.

The facility is aimed to serves as a nexus for cross-border transactions, with Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) inspection taking place at the hub, reports Fresh Plaza.

According to Eugene Roodt, co-founder of Nile, cross-docking enables Nile to connect farmers directly to markets that they would otherwise not have access to.

The cross-docking facility was designed for a quick turnover of fresh produce with minimal handling, and product is beforehand allocated to a buyer.

“The new Nile facility enables efficient operations which is key to ensure that the product gets from the farmer to the buyer as fast as possible with minimal handling to maintain the top-quality product that we receive from the farmer,” remarks Theuns Pieterse, Nile’s head of operations.

Nile was founded in 2020 to provide farmers with digital solutions that can address various pain points inherent to food trading – including price transparency, quality verification, speed of payments, the traceability of the produce and food waste.

Its end-to-end process connects farmers to commercial retailers of fresh produce both in South Africa and across the continent.

In addition, the B2B platform facilitates transactions and safeguards payments on behalf of farmers, resulting in increased transparency and improved cash flow.

The company leverages data and a complex logistical network allowing farmers to reach better-yielding markets, not just those geographically closest to them.

Fresh produce buyers, such as retailers, wholesalers and processors, can access live availability and landed costs for a wide range of produce, and are able to transact through a variety of B2B payment methods.

Since Nile’s inception, approximately 30 million kilograms of fruits and vegetables have been traded on the Nile platform, with buyers originating from five countries

The company recently concluded a landmark fundraising deal worth over US$5m, led by Naspers, which will enable it to expand its footprint of cross-docking hubs across the African continent.

Still in South Africa, Imperial, logistics company owned by DP World, has met all the requirements relating to its 100% acquisition of the J&J Group.

J&J Group offers end-to-end logistics solutions along the Beira and North-South corridors in South-East Africa, specialising in the transport of break-bulk, containerised, project, fuel and out-of-gauge cargo between Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The transaction relating to the acquisition of the first tranche of shares (51%) of the J&J Group, which was announced on 29 July 2021, was closed on 18 July 2022.

This will be followed by the acquisitions of the second and third tranches of 46.5% and 2.5%, respectively.

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