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How Terminal Africa Helped Scale my Logistics Business

May 4, 2024

We sat down to have a quick chat with the founder of THEPEP... We discussed his desire to solve same day delivery problems and how it led him to build a successful business.

Founder/CEO, THEPEP: Sunday Lawal

We were wondering, why the name, THEPEP?

THEPEP is a combination of two words, there’s THE and there’s PEP, PEP is actually my nickname. I found the name interesting and I got it for myself.

What is interesting is the meaning of the name PEP, you think of PEP, you think about energy & initiative, and you think of high spirit. That was what made me name myself that. So when I was to start the business, I didn’t want to call it PEP, cos there was already a fashion store called PEP, so I had to add THE to it to make it THEPEP.

Awesome! It is actually a cool name. How long have you been in business for?

THEPEP has been in business for three years.

Personally, I've been in business for five to six years. I was into only local deliveries before I started THEPEP. I was running an unbranded business then three years ago, I decided to put a name to it.

That's interesting. What happened those years ago that made you start doing local shipments?

I actually wanted to solve the same-day delivery problem.

It is something I experienced myself, I’ll order an item and it’ll be guaranteed that it’ll be delivered that same day, but you won’t end up getting it until a few days later.

I saw a problem in that and I knew it needed solving, that was the drive I needed to start my own delivery business. When I started, I was promoting same-day delivery, and if it wasn’t achievable I would usually not accept the order.

What do you enjoy most about running this logistics business?

I enjoy providing solutions: being able to provide shipping solutions based on customer's needs. Some customers request premium service and expedited delivery. Some ask for pocket-friendly service shipping options, we can provide them. Some import requests as well, and we can fulfil that, and some that need tech solutions for those that are starting, I’m able to provide that.

In a nutshell, THEPEP is a house of holistic logistics Solutions.

Can you tell us more about this holistic logistics solutions?

I’m into it, but it is not full-blown yet, some people already know I offer these services, and they know the success story, so what they do is make a request.

I show them the modus operandi of logistics business the a-z of how to do it. I can say that I’ve trained about 4-5 people to start their own logistics businesses, and they are doing great at it.

That’s great wow, I wasn’t expecting that. What's the most challenging part of the business?

I’d say dealing with customers who are NEWBIES in the logistics space Those who want to ship for the first time, don’t have any prior knowledge or shipping experience, nothing, they just want to send items.  You just have to explain everything to them from dimensional weight to transit time, to pick-up and delivery hours, this is what I consider the most challenging aspect.

That’s interesting. So how would you say Terminal has helped your business so far?

Terminal has helped my business in terms of technology solutions, and innovations. The platform is continuously improving and providing a competitive shipping rates, so this has aided my business and given my brand a lift over the years.

That’s great to hear. What has been your experience with our new product, T-Hub, so far?

When I talked about the technological solutions that Terminal provides, I was referring to T-Hub. It has been beneficial for my business in terms of customer satisfaction and patronage. Some of my customers prefer not to reach out to me directly, and T-Hub has made the process of booking shipments faster and less stressful for both parties. With just a few clicks on THEPEP platform created by T-Hub, I can generate a shipping label for my customers in under two minutes. This has played a significant role in the growth of my business.

I don’t think I’ve heard someone sell T-Hub like this before, that’s nice. So, what does your day-to-day look like?

We start our workday by reviewing the previous day's activities, creating a key performance index, and addressing any challenges that came up. We focus on finding solutions to prevent similar problems from happening again. We also serve customers who walk in for inquiries, to weigh and package their items before shipping. Once we set the tone for the new day, everyone goes to their respective functional roles and begins work.

How many people are on your team?

I have a team of over 15 people.

If I was going to start my own 3PL business, what advice would you give me?

I’ll say don’t jump the learning curve, many are looking at it from afar as a profitable business, and quite frankly it is, but that shouldn’t be your drive. You have to be willing to learn, don’t put the Earn before the Learn.

Don’t shy away from collaboration, take advantage of the leverage mechanism, you can’t do all yourself, so leverage on those who have the experience

Good service brings the result, if you want to go far and you want to maintain at the level where you are for continuity you have to provide good service, which brings about customer loyalty and retention.

Those are great bits of advice. Where do you see THPEP in the next five years?

The goal is to be a global solution provider, not to be restricted to where are currently, we want to be advanced. Globally we want to be a solution provider to logistics needs so when you think logistics, you think THEPEP, it may sound funny, but it is achievable.