Kobo360, a tech-enabled logistics firm, estimates that the volume of goods moving across Africa has reduced by up to 30% following lockdowns in many countries aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
The biggest drop has been in non-essential sectors like construction, with half the number of construction materials circulating across the continent.
Along with road and air restrictions, 70% of vessels have delayed their arrival time by as much as 40 days.
“Essentially, the whole supply chain has been shaken to the core,” writes Obi Ozor, CEO and co-founder, in an exclusive op-ed for African Business.
The Lagos-based logistics firm has seen 3,000 of its trucks grounded in Nigeria as drivers feared being arrested, attacked or having their goods impounded by law enforcement.
Logistics firms will have to engage in serious discussions with governments across Africa, to ensure that goods continue to flow, Ozor says.
“Our drivers need to be in trucks, on the road and on the move,” he says.
“That is how we, as a logistics company, set out to face the challenges that coronavirus had presented us with; by ensuring that essential supplies are being transported from point A all the way to point B, we can avoid the very real threat of food shortages and civil unrest.”