Logistics is the wildest beast in the Nigerian e-commerce micro-ecosystem, so it’s fitting that a lot of people are taking a knife to it. To tame it and carve a slice of its meat for themselves while at it.
Another player recently surfaced in that niche; MAX, short for Metro Africa Xpress. It is an end-to-end crowd-sourced logistics service currently only operational in Lagos, Nigeria. The startup uses technology to aggregate independent taxi operators and bike riders into a network of delivery agents.
“The key differentiation for MAX is the use of existing ‘Okada men’ and ‘Taxi Drivers’ to drive delivery. MAX is positioning itself as a social venture, aiming to increase income for un- or undereducated people in Nigeria,” the company said.
The model is similar to Uber’s which uses technology to link up independent drivers with fares. MAX independent operators are fitted through a training process much in the same that Uber drivers are.
“MAX Champions [the delivery agents] are a highly-trained professionalized network of dispatch riders. MAX brings dispatch riders on board and puts them through a rigorous screening and training program. Those who make it through the MAX Champion Program become MAX Delivery Champions,” the company says.
With such a name as Metro Africa Xpress, it’s obvious the company has plans of extending across Africa. “Our mission is to build and operate a crowdsourced last-mile delivery platform for Africa, starting from Nigeria,” the company says.
Chinedu Azodoh and Adetayo Bamiduro are the co-founders. Both are alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US with experience in startups, enterprise technology, e-commerce, logistics and management consulting.
There is an easy three-step process to MAX’s pick-up and delivery operations and the company promises instant, same-day and next day delivery within Lagos.
[Update 23/09/2015 – 11:22]:
The story was updated to include Adetayo’s status as an MIT graduate.