UCT and Rhodes University partner with Pargo to save the academic year for under-digitalised students

Smart logistics company Pargo has put its countrywide pickup point network to good use by offering the education sector a tailored distribution solution.

The nationwide lockdown has forced universities and schools to switch to e-learning. While distance learning was a measure well-received by most students and parents, for under-digitalised students the transition has been challenging. 

10 to 20% of students don’t have access to the online curriculum and require physical study materials in order to continue their course work. An additional challenge is that students need to return completed assignments to their universities.

The latter is particularly challenging for students living in rural areas or informal settlements as these locations are often not serviced by traditional logistics providers. Pargo solves these problems by enabling the students to collect and return their materials at selected pickup points across the country.

South Africa’s top universities such as The University of Cape Town (UCT) and Rhodes University were quick to make use of Pargo’s Click and Collect service to ship course materials, art supplies, laptops, stationery packs as well as USB’s with course notes and lecture slides to Pargo Pickup Points. 

“We are happy to work with Pargo because of the great national coverage they provide,” said Professor Lis Lange, Deputy Vice Chancellor at UCT. “Their delivery system ensures that our learning materials reach our students,” said Professor Lis Lange, Deputy Vice Chancellor at UCT.

“The Pargo team is efficient and professional. Their process was flexible enough to accommodate our internal processes,” added Waldette Lombard, Deputy Director at Rhodes University.

“The system creates waybills electronically from data sheets which has saved time we would have spent on manually completing waybills. They respond to queries swiftly and the tracking system keeps you informed.”

These universities follow in the footsteps of specialised distance learning institutes like Skills Academy, that have been making use of Pargo for a while in order to reach students in rural areas and efficiently link online and offline.

“We started working with Pargo last year and their service experience has been phenomenal,” said Clifford Mupumha, Head of Supply Chain at Skills Academy.

“We love their revolutionary systems and platforms which are simple and user friendly. The pick up points are convenient for our students and most importantly it’s cost effective.” 

Pargo is bridging the logistics gap between institutions and students by providing fully trackable delivery and returns of study essentials. The pickup points are located at popular retail stores such as Clicks, Freshtop at Caltex, Spar and many others across South Africa’s urban and rural areas as well as informal settlements. 

“Education providers can send coursework, for instance assignments, to a pickup point which is close to the student,” Pargo Senior Business Development Manager Bianca Uys explained.

“The student collects at their convenience, completes the assignment and returns it by dropping it off at the Pargo Point, after which we return it to the university. Students can track every step of the parcel’s journey in real time – so they know exactly when to expect delivery.”

To facilitate easy returns, students receive an empty flyer bag and a completed waybill with every delivery. This is key because students often don’t have printer access to do their own printing. With this solution students simply place their assignment into the flyer bag, stick the waybill in the front sleeve and drop it off at the closest pickup point.

“We started Pargo to solve the challenges of last-mile logistics by creating an accessible, reliable and convenient delivery solution,” Derk Hoekert, director and co-founder of Pargo, explained.

“We all understand the important role education plays, especially in emerging economies. We strive to make a positive contribution by offering seamless delivery of essential study materials, to those students that need them the most during these times of crisis and social distancing.”

Pargo has been the go-to omnichannel partner for popular South African retail brands such as TFG, Cape Union Mart, Loot and Wellness Warehouse since 2015. Pargo’s 2500+ pickup points cover 87% of South Africa’s postal codes. On a mission to create access for anybody in Africa, the Click & Collect logistics company’s pickup point network extends beyond urban areas into rural areas as well as informal settlements. 

Pargo’s logistics solution for the education sector is available to all education providers, including schools, universities, distance learning institutions and Technikons. For more information visit: pargo.co.za/education-sector/, contact Pargo via [email protected] or phone 021 447 3636. 

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UCT and Rhodes University partner with Pargo to save the academic year for under-digitalised students