This article is centered around startups operating within the UK and EU zones. This is more of a general guide on how to start exporting goods on behalf of customers to African countries.
Most African countries are serious importers of goods from the Western countries, be it personal or commercial in nature and this needs to be recognized by anyone thinking about being a freight forwarder and specialising in African freight. This means that you would need to put up a very good business structure to handle the customers and beat the competition. It is worth noting that some of the export routes are already saturated with freight forwarders that are highly experienced and professional. Take Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa for instance , these routes are well established export routes and heavily operated by loads of experienced forwaders. That said it is also a viable export route for any forwarder to come into taking consideration of the volume of shipping jobs happening on these routes. Meanwhile countries like Zimbabwe , Tanzania, and Cameroun may have the export demand from UK and Europe but not enough forwarders serving them. This is why it is important to do research on this and make the necessary contacts to put your business in the right position.
It is true that the larger the economy the more business opportunities available but the job of a professional forwarder is to explore where the best profit can be made . I will strongly advice that you start with the routes you know best or where you have a reliable contact.
THE BASICS NEEDED
Company Registration: Is your company registered in the country you want to start the business from? Have you fulfilled all the requirements needed to start a freight forwarding business? Have you chosen the best name for your brand? If you haven't done the aforementioned items then you are not ready yet.