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Manbang to better serve millions of truckers

By Ouyang Shijia in Beijing and Yang Jun in Guiyang ( China Daily )

Updated: 2018-06-04

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 value-added 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.

Manbang to better serve millions of truckers

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.

Contact the writers at ouyangshijia@chinadaily.com.cn

Manbang to better serve millions of truckers

(China Daily 06/04/2018 page16)

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