After years of dominance of Botswana’s courier service by foreign-owned companies, like DHL, the last few years have seen a rise in the number of locally-owned courier companies.
Among the newer entries is Botswana Couriers, a 100 percent subsidiary of Botswana Post, itself a public enterprise. It was formed mainly to provide courier and freight solutions to individuals and businesses at local and international region.
It also offers warehousing, logistical solutions, distribution and inventory management. Since Botswana Post does not provide services such as logistics, Botswana Couriers was formed to fill the gap.
Botswana Couriers Marketing Executive, Pelonomi Kgosietsile, said they have DHL and Sprint Couriers as their main competitors. She said they thrive because they know their market and build relationships as well as nurture partnerships with their clientele. They have been able to explore opportunities outside normal courier services ÔÇô warehousing, re-distribution and inventory management, giving them a competitive edge over other companies.
“In all competitions, one has to strive to emerge on top, as the leading courier and Freight Company in Botswana, we maintain exceptional service and delivery,” Kgosietsile said. “Botswana Couriers has been cited and awarded for exceptional service by Professional Management Review Africa in 2008 and 2009.”
Botswana Couriers cites fluctuating fuel prices as their main challenge, and say they overcome it by acquiring more business opportunities in order to get value through volume. The International Air Transport Agency and Road transport authorities regulate the operations standards in all countries they trade in.
An even more recent entrant in the market is Sprint Couriers. But Edwell Munyangamira, a representative of the company, was touchy when contacted by The Sunday Standard for his comments about the state of the courier market.
“Challenges are there, but why should they be for public consumption?” he asked, declining to add further to the matter.
Sun Couriers (Uti) Managing Director, Mark Thompson said: “We deal with a wide range of clients in the mining, textile, automotive, retail and general cargo requirements daily. Uti has secured a major contract with Botswana Power Corporation and Komatsu Botswana, amongst the few.”
Thompson stated that their major challenges are customs and border clearances. They try to overcome this problem by setting up meetings and have joined Botswana Freight Forwarding Association, who takes their matters to customs department and the Botswana Unified Revenue Services for solutions.
Nevertheless, Thompson declined to disclose any information their competitors to any detail.
“There are a number of companies in Botswana on a courier base and we feel we are one of the top five within the country on both express and international,” he said.