Crucible Courier and Logistics is set to launch three offices in the larger Nyanza Region as it takes on other industry players in direct competition, building a consumer-facing vertical to complement its core supply-chain management business.
The collect-and-deliver service will help bolster Crucible Courier’s new positioning as an independent logistics powerhouse with offices in Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori.
Crucible has aggressive plans for its courier service, with an aim of capturing 4-8% of the market in its third year of business.
“We expect this service will be as disruptive as Crucible’s entry into the ecommerce space,” said Paul Ochieng, one of the directors.
“The industry is improving everyday. No one provides an end-to-end proposition that consumers want,” he said.
Crucible Courier has plans to expand the hyper local logistics market and has started piloting deliveries for restaurants in Nairobi, according to two people aware of the company’s plans.
The firm will provide customers with an improvised door-to-door pick-up of parcels and delivery in under 6 hours and 12 hours outside of the city of posting.
Customers can book the service online and get real-time tracking and SMS updates. Crucible Courier will offer complimentary packaging.
The pick-up service has been rolled out in Nairobi and in other cities by September. Crucible Courier will drop parcels at any of the 47 counties it directly reaches across the country.
Ochieng did not disclose the pricing but said it will “be competitive to tier-1 courier players. We will be offering far more value for the same cost.”
Experts tracking the logistics space say the courier market is highly competitive with thousands of regional and national players, which makes generating profits from the service a tough proposition.
They pointed out that courier companies handle about two million shipments a day with networks of thousands of branches. Parcel sizes are typically less than half a kilogram, whereas ecommerce parcels are usually 1-2kg.
Ochieng said they are not worried about the competition and that he expects Crucible’s entry to expand the courier market and increase the number of packets delivered by each delivery executive.
“Every additional item increases utilisation (of the executive),” he said.
“For its core business-to-business logistics facility, Crucible Courier is aggressively seeking external clients and 20 companies have expressed interest in its services,” Ochieng said.
By next year, Crucible Courier expects shipments from non-ecommerce businesses to contribute to half its revenue. The company handles deliveries for third-party online retailers under a new initiative called ‘Fulfilled by Crucible’.