Man­bang to bet­ter serve mil­lions of truck­ers

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - Business - By OUYANG SHIJIA in Bei­jing and YANG JUN in Guiyang YANG JUN / CHINA DAILY Con­tact the writ­ers at ouyang­shi­jia@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Chi­nese truck-hail­ing firm Man­bang Group will of­fer a range of ser­vices to driv­ers so that it could bet­ter tap key mar­kets and re­tain its top spot in the seg­ment, its top of­fi­cial said.

Luo Peng, co-pres­i­dent of Man­bang, said the group will pro­vide A-to-Z ser­vices for driv­ers and lo­gis­tics firms, build a public ser­vice plat­form for driv­ers, and in­crease val­ueadded ser­vices to gen­er­ate more rev­enues.

“The mar­ket for truck­ers is huge — so huge it’ll be worth more than 1 tril­lion yuan ($156 bil­lion) in the near fu­ture,” Luo said.

“The do­mes­tic lo­gis­tics sup­ply is very frag­mented. China now has around 1.5 mil­lion lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies and tens of mil­lions of truck­ers (long-dis­tance lorry driv­ers). As an in­dus­trial in­ter­net plat­form, we need to ramp up re­sources to bet­ter serve the driv­ers via emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies such as big data and ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.”

Us­ing big data, Man­bang will be able to help driv­ers to di­rectly find com­modi­ties wait­ing to be shipped, with­out wor­ry­ing about a po­ten­tial empty re­turn trip, he said.

ex­pe­ri­ences sim­u­lated driv­ing on a vir­tual re­al­ity or VR head­set at the stand of Man­bang Group, at the 2018 In­ter­na­tional Big Data In­dus­try Expo held in Guiyang, Guizhou prov­ince, on May 26.

It also pro­vides fol­low-up ser­vices, such as sales of elec­tronic toll col­lec­tion cards for high­way trans­porta­tion, auto sales, ve­hi­cle-re­lated fi­nance and insurance ser­vices, he said.

Man­bang, which came into be­ing last Novem­ber with the merger of Truck Al­liance and Yun­man­man, China’s two ma­jor Uber-like apps, an­nounced in April a fresh round of $1.9 bil­lion fi­nanc­ing.

The round was led by Soft­bank Vi­sion Fund and China Re­form Fund, a pri­vate equity in­vest­ment com­pany backed by China Re­form Hold­ings Corp Ltd and other State-owned firms and so­cial in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors.

The money raised will help the com­pany to im­prove user ex­pe­ri­ence, de­velop new busi­ness and ex­pand into new mar­kets. Com­pany of­fi­cials said Man­bang will also ex­plore emerg­ing ar­eas, such as new en­ergy and in­tel­li­gent driv­ing, to speed up the lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture con­struc­tion.

Luo, who con­tin­ues to serve as Truck Al­liance’s CEO, said the merger in­te­grates the two sides’ busi­nesses, while the two apps will con­tinue to op­er­ate as in­de­pen­dent brands.

“We’ll strive to break even this year,” Luo said. “We aim to of­fer an on­line mar­ket­place for users, which will also help cre­ate more busi­ness sce­nar­ios.”

Ac­cord­ing to a 2016 re­port by Chi­nese in­ter­net of things and big data com­pany G7 and global con­sult­ing firm Bain & Com­pany, China’s road freight amounted to 6.1 tril­lion ton-kilo­me­ters, cov­ered by a fleet of more than 5 mil­lion heavy trucks and over 14 mil­lion light and medium trucks. The mar­ket size ex­ceeded 5 tril­lion yuan, mak­ing it the world’s big­gest road trans­porta­tion mar­ket.

Man­bang re­port­edly serves around 5.2 mil­lion trucks and 1.25 mil­lion lo­gis­tics firms, which gives it a big mar­ket share in the coun­try.

Wang Gang, CEO of Man­bang Group, who was an an­gel in­vestor in ride-hail­ing firm Didi Chux­ing, said a new de­part­ment called Man­bang In­ter­na­tional will help the com­pany to seek op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pand abroad.

A young vis­i­tor num­ber of do­mes­tic lo­gis­tics com­pa­nies; all of them use trucks in their op­er­a­tions

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