KUALA LUMPUR: Three friends from three countries have come together to create a “Uber-like technology platform’’ that can match the needs of shippers with transportation companies in Malaysia and Singapore.
Funded by wealthy private investors from the US, Australia and Singapore, the three co-founders of Ezyhaul Sdn Bhd – chief executive officer Raymond Gillon from the Netherlands, CSO Nicky Lum from Malaysia and chief operating officer Mudasar Mohamed from India – have plans to set up a similar platform in Indonesia later this year.
Last year, they raised seed capital of S$1.2mil to set up the company and with expansion on the cards, they plan to raise about the same amount later this year.
Together they hold about 75% stake in the company while their investors hold the balance. The co-founders have around 20 years of experience each with deep knowledge of the haulage industry in this region.
The three saw opportunities in a “lucrative market” for a logistics platform linking shippers and transportation companies while working for UTi Worldwide Inc, a Danish haulage company.
Whether they will issue new shares or sell existing stakes has yet to be finalised but Gillon said: “Several parties are knocking on our doors to be part of this new venture.’’
Ezyhaul offers free-to-use service for shippers to connect with transportation companies and make bookings for domestic and cross-border transportation services. It also includes a real-time tracking system for their dispatches, and access to electronic documentation and e-PODs (proof of delivery).
For funding purposes, Ezyhaul has a Singapore registration but has full-fledged operations in Malaysia and a technical team in Taiwan.
Gillon said it was common for lorries to ply the roads with half loads and their return trips were often empty but if they register with Ezyhaul, the transportation companies would have better load utilisation.
“It is difficult for small companies to get return loads, so we decided to develop the platform so that there is better utilisation of their assets and at the same time, provide shippers with a one-stop centre to transport their goods.
“We cater for anyone who has something to transport by roads in Malaysia and Singapore. We also plan to venture into Thailand at some point,’’ he added.
After six months in operation, Ezyhaul has several hundred trucks registered with it and over 150 registered clients, a number of whom are small-medium enterprise shippers.
Gillon said the company’s clients include DB Schenker Logistics, DHL Forwarding, DAMCO Logistics, Lazada, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, Fashion Valet, Harrods, Ninja Van and F&N.
“We are a one-stop centre and we take away your headaches. You just need to make a booking and tell us when and what you want transport, we will quote and if you agree, you book via our online site,’’ he said.
Mudasar said the company would be starting cross-border business into Singapore on May 1. On average, about 2,000 trucks cross over between Singapore and Malaysia and for a start, they are eyeing 100 cross-border transactions.
By the third quarter of this year, they plan to set up a similar venture in Indonesia to cater for that market.
The road freight market in South-East Asia is valued at US$27bil and Mudasar believes there are plenty of opportunities despite the hundreds of trucking companies in operations across the region.
Competition exists but Gillon said that “there are not many like Ezyhaul” and believes they are the early mover using technology to match the needs of shippers and corporations.