Truck hire app Droppa sees surge in sanitiser transportation

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Khathu Mufamadi, CEO of Droppa.
Khathu Mufamadi, CEO of Droppa.

Johannesburg-based on-demand platform for trucks and bakkies, Droppa,has seen an increase in demand for its service, after shifting its business model to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown regulations.

Today, SA entered the seventh day of the three-week nation-wide lockdown, which restricts travel, leisure, work, churchgoing and other aspects of life, to combat the spread of COVID-19.

At a media briefing last month, transport minister Fikile Mbalula, announced all minibus taxis, metered taxis, e-hailing services and trucks will not be allowed to operate as normal for the duration of the 21-day lockdown; however, those transporting essential services workers will be permitted to operate.

The new regulations forced Droppa’s developers to be more flexible and innovative, to adjust to the current environment, in order to ensure its survival and longevity.

Droppa’s original operating model allows patrons and businesses to request a truck or bakkie for all furniture removals and logistics, in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban.

The on-demand e-hailing app says it has now shifted its focus to sectors rendering essential services, such as retail stores, warehouses, fresh produce farms and medical suppliers, and is already witnessing an uptick in some of these services.

“Since the lockdown, we’ve had an overwhelming demand for the transportation of essential goods, especially sanitisers, from Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and around Gauteng,” says Khathu Mufamadi, CEO of Droppa.

“COVID-19 has brought new meaning to the word disruptive, with all industries being forced into a state of survival of the fittest. Only organisations that are agile enough to change have a better chance of living to tell the tale.”

The app has over 5 000 active users on its platform.

Much like Uber, Droppa does not own trucks or bakkies, but instead has driver-partners that have registered their vehicles with it, thus empowering and providing employment opportunities for many South Africans.

Droppa services are also made available to members of the public who require essential goods delivered during the lockdown, notes Mufamadi.

On Monday, ride-hailing app Bolt launched its new essential service, Bolt Business Delivery, to help keep businesses alive during the lockdown.

“We have launched Bolt Business Delivery with two key goals in mind: to make sure drivers on the Bolt platform can continue to earn a living safely, and to help businesses selling the essential products defined by the lockdown regulations to get orders to their customers quickly and safely,” said Gareth Taylor, country manager for Bolt SA.

Uber has announced that while it is temporarily pausing the Uber Eats service across SA to adhere to lockdown restrictions, its ride-hailing service will still be able to operate daily between 5am to 9am and 4pm to 8pm, for essential travel only.

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