A rapid rise in e-commerce means merchants, courier or logistic companies in the entire supply chain are expected to deliver more parcels, faster.
Pickupp, a Hong Kong-funded logistics platform, saw this an as opportunity to better organise last-mile delivery, leveraging on the mobile phone and crowdsourcing.
The company, already present in Malaysia since June last year, aims to use existing excess capacity from individuals or businesses to make deliveries.
If someone with a car, bike, van or truck has extra capacity and would like to lease them out, we are that platform
“So if someone with a car, bike, van or truck has extra capacity and would like to lease them out, we are that platform,” says Crystal Pang, one of the four co-founders of Pickupp.
Established in December 2016, the company has expanded out of Hong Kong into Ho Chi Minh, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Pickupp currently has about 20,000 users signed up as ‘delivery agents’ - utilising idle manpower including students, retirees and freelancers to do deliveries, says Pang.
“Within the city, they are usually served by housewives, students or retirees - people who have the extra capacity. We want to give them a platform so that they can earn extra income.”
“In Hong Kong, we even have people with disabilities; those who are not be able to do a desk-bound job or stare at the computer nine hours a day. If they know a certain neighbourhood well enough, some of the local deliveries are very easy and doable for them.”
Pickupp - Last-Mile Logistics Startup Offering On-Demand Delivery
Pang agrees that there are already plenty of tech logistics platform out there matching demand and supply. But there’s been minimal focus on optimisation to help lower cost and increase efficiencies- something Pickupp aims to solve through its technology.
Out of 12,000 business that signed up on its platform, a large portion comprise of couriers and supply chain companies looking to optimise their route and capacity, including idle and available logistics manpower.
“Where we are not just serving them, we partner with them too,” says Pang.
Courier companies give us some volume and we give them the outskirts (delivery) of Malaysia, or the places that we don’t cover
“We help handle a lot of the same day volume and then we co-market. For example, these courier companies give us some volume and we give them the outskirts (delivery) of Malaysia, or the places that we don’t cover.”
“It’s a pretty synergistic collaboration,” she explains.
Pang, who previously managed operations at Uber Hong Kong, believes Pickupp can address the weak links in the supply chain such as relieving bottlenecks (particularly during peak sales period) and increasing speed; more than ever, customers want things to happen quickly, and more are expecting same-day delivery.
“We can offer same day delivery if it’s intra-city,” says Pang. “In more mature cities, we can even deliver between two to four hours.”
Pickupp also offers delivery agents rating and real-time GPS tracking, improving transparency along the supply chain.
“In Malaysia, we notice users are very appreciative of how trackable our system is,” says Pang.
“When we started in Hong Kong, the opening rate for our links and updates was about 50 percent; in Singapore, about 60 to 70 percent. But the moment we launched in Malaysia, 95 percent of (users) were tracking.”
HK-Based Pickupp Expanded into Malaysia in June 2018
According to Pang, Pickupp is in the midst of setting up presence in Bangkok.
In Malaysia, the company is looking to expand into Johor and Penang next.
“We see Malaysia as a very prospective country as it is very connected to a lot of other countries, some by road.”
“So, it is a very good place to experiment intra-city and inter-city, across the border.”
“Pickupp is enabling different parts of the supply chain, all the way from the warehouse assortation, line haul to delivery. So we want to target the larger clients because they have various needs.”
“How do you utilise existing, hard assets? How do you crowdsource that allows for a win-win situation for everyone? That is what we are trying to achieve,’ says Pang.