Thirty courier firms have entered the Kenyan market over the past year with the sector deliveries growing by 22.2 percent as online purchasing picks up. The number of private courier outlets rose to 1,027 from 997 from a similar quarter last year.
Data from Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) shows that courier service deliveries grew to 885,862 in the three months to June from 724,866.
“This is mainly attributed to the increased uptake of e-commerce in the country especially by micro, small and middle-sized enterprises,” CA said in the quarterly report.
The performance marked a recovery from the back to back drop in courier items sent locally. From a high of 1.16 million items in the quarter to September last year, the goods were on decline up to March 2019.
New entrants including Glovo have been pushing delivery of food and groceries in addition to conventional parcels. Cab hailing service firms like Uber and Bolt have also given a boost to home deliveries since they have expanded their business models to include deliveries.
Kenya’s data and internet subscribers rose 21.4 per cent to 49.9 million at the end of June with 99.9 per cent being on mobile data, offering the platform for online ordering and payment of goods.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development business to consumer e-commerce index 2018 ranked Kenya seven out of top 10 e-commerce developing and transitioning economies in Sub-Saharan Africa.
It put the number of online shoppers in Kenya at 2.614 million by end of 2017, the second highest on the continent after South Africa (2.929 million).
Some of the established e-commerce players in the country include Africa Internet Group’s Jumia, Safaricom’s Masoko, Kilimall International and OLX, which is a unit of Johannesburg-listed Naspers. Jumia alone has over 10,000 vendors selling about 3.5 million products. E-commerce business has been tipped to grow further when CA finishes streets, buildings numbering.