Cathedis wants to boost the capacities of small e-merchants

Cathedis wants to boost the capacities of small e-merchants

Alongside major brands, Cathedis is a start-up specializing in logistics for e-commerce platforms. It grants a strategic interest to small e-merchants. “According to estimates, they represent 70% of the market and ship one to five orders on average per week,” says Imad El Mansour Zekri, founder and general manager of Cathedis. He aspires to support small e-retailers so that they take advantage of the enormous potential of online sales without worrying about the logistics aspect.

“While e-merchants or emerging brands master the commercial part, e-logistics remains another matter. Delivering items, in good condition and as soon as possible, is the major challenge of e-commerce. This is the sinews of war,” underlines Imad El Mansour Zekri. He adds that nearly two million parcels are delivered each month on the Moroccan market following online purchases for a turnover amounting to 1 billion dirhamsinsisting on the fact that the small e-merchant must find its place there.

This is why the start-up has just launched Cathedis Academy, which offers face-to-face and remote support to e-merchants in several key areas such as digital marketing, e-commerce, business development, project management and business law. This will allow them to keep up with new consumer habits and the pace of the spectacular growth of online orders.

Training is provided at the Cathedis headquarters in Casablanca, with an area of ​​400 m², by experts in digital marketing, e-commerce or supply chain.

“Two sessions will be launched in 2022 at the rate of ten e-merchants per session. The call for applications is in progress and will be closed on June 30, 2022. The second will be launched in October 2022,” explains the founder. The first candidates will be selected on July 15, 2022.

Increase its performance in terms of services

With a balance sheet of 300,000 parcels delivered in 2021, Cathedis is preparing a second funding round, four years after its creation and two years after a first funding round of three million dirhams in 2020 with CDG Invest, as part of the 212 program. Founders.

“We are moving up a gear to achieve our ambitious roadmap and reach a total annual flow of 3 million parcels by 2024,” says Imad El Mansour Zekri. “All the turn signals are green. We want to remain competitive in the face of increasingly fierce competition,” he continues. The start-up claims a three-digit average annual growth over the last three fiscal years. It intends to maintain this pace in the face of the evolution of the e-commerce sector, accelerated by the health crisis.

This fundraising should enable the start-up to perfect its technological solution, developed internally with a view to optimizing the efficiency of its logistics and reducing lead times and costs. “It’s a digital platform that manages stock, orders and returns for more than 500 customers. It can be connected to CMS e-commerce sites like Magento or Prestashop. Improving its functionalities will facilitate the daily tasks of our operators and our customers,” adds the founder.

In addition, to structure and energize order processing operations, the integration of automated sorting solutions has established itself in the face of exponentially growing shipping volumes, due to the explosion of online shopping. The start-up therefore has a parcel sorting center in Casablanca, designed over a total area of ​​1,200 m², which “offers a processing capacity of 10,000 parcels per hour”.

It is an automatic circuit that scans and distributes the products according to the destinations to distribute them in five regional agencies: Agadir, Rabat, Marrakech, Tangier, Casablanca. The products are then loaded into a fleet of motorcycles and vehicles according to the need and the volume of the packages. 170 agents cover the national territory and serve more than 160 destinations.

Automatic product control is carried out using warehouse management software, also developed in-house, which manages logistics flows for both the receiving and shipping parts. This solution thus makes it possible to gain in agility and speed while ensuring real-time traceability.

The start-up now employs more than 200 people in different roles: preparer and packer, engineers, technicians and support functions. It intends to recruit other profiles, particularly in tech to meet market needs.

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