Dubai-based logistics startup Fodel (Forward Delivery) has expanded launched its services in four new markets including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman, it announced in a statement to MENAbytes today. Fodel turns local merchant stores into pick up points, enabling the online shoppers to collect their parcels any time from a nearby store. The model serves as an alternative to home delivery.
Fodel’s expansion to Saudi has been on the cards since early 2019 – when the company announced its $2.6 million Pre-Series A. Earlier this year, they announced that they’ve secured 1,000 PUDO points in the country and will be launching there soon. In its today’s statement, Fodel did not share the breakdown but said that it has developed a network of 2,000 merchants (points) across Saudi, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
The retailers that partner with Fodel earn additional income and enjoy increased footfall in their stores. The ecommerce and logistics companies are able to cut their costs and expand their delivery capacity by partnering with it.
“According to industry reports, last-mile delivery failure rates range between 15% in the UAE to 40% in Saudi Arabia leading to poor customer satisfaction and lost revenue in a region where online shoppers still pay cash on delivery for a large share of their purchases,” said the startup in a statement while highlighting that its model addresses different pain points of both online shoppers and ecommerce platforms.
The startup said that its scalable solution also helps improve bandwidth during peak seasons such as Ramadan and other festive seasons when logistics partners get overwhelmed with demand, “The supply chain also benefits from the significant reduction in return to origin (RTO) deliveries, an issue for shippers and e-tailers which is especially poignant in the GCC markets.”
Soumia Benturquia, Founder & CEO of Fodel, said, “The GCC’s e-commerce market has been booming and is expected to reach more than $20bn worth of sales by the end of this year. Fodel is supporting this growth by offering an alternative to home delivery. We have received tremendous demand from our network of clients to expand our reach across the GCC.”
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