Nile, an agritech startup that connects vegetable and fruit producers directly with commercial buyers via an accessible online platform, has recently opened a state-of-the-art cross-docking facility in Centurion, Pretoria, where produce remains for only six hours or less before being collected for delivery to buyers in 35 cities and towns across Southern Africa.
The facility serves as a nexus for cross-border transactions that are facilitated by the online platform, with Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) inspection taking place at the hub. According to Eugene Roodt, co-founder of Nile.ag, cross-docking enables Nile to connect farmers directly to markets that they would otherwise not have access to.
Pineapples being offloaded at Nile's Centurion cross-docking facility (photo: Blowfish Productions)
The cross-docking facility was designed for a quick turnover of fresh produce with minimal handling, and product is beforehand allocated to a buyer.
Photo: YUNEK Media
“The new Nile facility enables efficient operations which is key to ensure that the product gets from the farmer to the buyer as fast as possible with minimal handling to maintain the top quality product that we receive from the farmer,” remarks Theuns Pieterse, newly appointed head of operations. He is an industrial engineer with extensive experience in both the food industry and the retail food distribution environment.
Since its establishment in 2020, Nile has expanded its footprint and more than 40 product types and 500 different items are cross-docked at the Gauteng facility.
Photo: Blowfish Productions
The company recently concluded a landmark fundraising deal, led by Naspers, which will enable it to expand its footprint of cross-docking hubs across the African continent.
Nile will be looking to open more of these facilities across the African continent.