Family start-up can ease traffic in Northamptonshire, says entrepreneur student

News Page 5th March 2019

A student from the University of Northampton has started a logistics business that could offer a solution to traffic congestion in Northamptonshire.

Siyabonga Matsebula, 23, from South Africa, is in his final year of a Marketing Management and Business degree and has started a family business, On The Go Express.

The company, which Siyabonga runs with his sister, provides a unique platform for businesses looking to move their goods within the United Kingdom without the difficulty of sourcing reliable carriers.

Siyabonga believes On The Go Express can reduce the amount of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) on UK roads running at a loss without a consignment on return journeys, through its innovative freight exchange platform, allowing shippers to access a network of trusted carriers at any given time.

As he explains, research has shown a severe increase in HGVs returning empty on journeys across the UK, which has a knock-on effect on the environment.

Siyabonga said: “The rate of empty return loads has increased significantly due to a shortfall in effective route planning and transparency amongst road freight operators. Moreover, HGVs account for a significant portion of the UK’s carbon emission, contributing 31 per cent of greenhouse gases which has increased by eight percent over the last 10 years from road transport alone.

“We aim to improve the logistics sector in Northampton through our platform, by enabling shippers and carriers to communicate with one another. This will include reducing the significant rate of return loads without consignment, identifying new routes and consolidating journeys for road freight operators into one single trip.

“This platform will hopefully prove an effective solution that will promote collaboration within the county and reduce carbon emissions, allowing sustainable growth for Northamptonshire in the coming years.”

With logistics and transport running in the family, Siyabonga and his sister drew inspiration from their father, who ran a successful coach company in South Africa.

Siyabonga added: “The success of our father’s business is what inspired us to start our own. His company started from humble beginnings in 1980 and it grew to become the biggest passenger bus and luxury coach company in Mpumalanga, South Africa.

“Transportation has always been a passion of ours, in particular the operational aspect, which led us to realising there was this gap in the market. The idea of creating a service that provides shippers access to a trusted network of vetted carriers and fleet management tools to make moving goods easier was established.”

Siyabonga was recently awarded a grant through Santander’s Enterprise Boost Programme to grow his business, and is very thankful for the University’s support for their business venture.

He added: “The University has supported us throughout this project, by providing us with business specialists to work with and to help us further our business plan, enabling us to strategically position ourselves in the market, creating value for our customers through a bespoke platform catered to shippers and carriers within the United Kingdom.”

For more information on the Santander Enterprise Boost programme, you can email enterpriseboost@northampton.ac.uk.

For more information on BSc Marketing Management, you can visit the course page.

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