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PETALING JAYA: On-demand logistics startup Lalamove sees the large vehicle delivery segment as a new segment for growth in Malaysia given the gaps in the market.

Lalamove Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Ong Shen Loong, better known as Shen Ong, said the large vehicle segment is still in its infancy and that a large portion of it is “missing” in the market. Describing current platforms that offer lorry logistics services as “not extra-unique” and can be more robust, he said the margin for large vehicle delivery is also better from a ringgit and sen perspective.

“If you look at the marketplace today for on-demand apps, there is a clear emphasis on bikes (motorcycles). Last-mile logistics platforms have a lot of bikes, so we feel there is a lot of potential for large vehicles,” he told SunBiz in a recent interview.

Lalamove’s business delivery services provides business owners with the convenience of quick contact to a database of trained drivers for delivery of goods.

“We just launched van delivery (in mid-October) and it’s a big thing for us now. We’re trying to reach a market segment where we know what the market is asking for. We’ve a surge in demand for vans,” said Ong, adding that it has more lorries than vans on its platform as its lorry logistics services started earlier.

Since its entry into Malaysia in August 2018, Lalamove has been connecting locals with delivery drivers, catered for both personal and business use. It has 40,000-50,000 registered riders and drivers, of which 2,000-3,000 are active on its platform on a weekly basis.

Ong said Lalamove Malaysia plans to triple its orders for large vehicle delivery by end-2020 by getting in bigger corporate clients and accommodating their delivery requirements for larger items. Its existing corporate clients in this segment include the likes of furniture distributors, warehouses and food & beverage businesses.

“There is a goal to move towards big corporate clients, and large vehicles typically have more of an advantage. Currently, we only do intrastate (Klang Valley) delivery but we want to move to interstate delivery in Penang and Johor,” said Ong, adding that once it expands to those markets, it will also move towards larger vehicle deliveries.

He added that it wants to emulate qualities of its counterpart Huolala in China where the latter, operating solely on a large vehicle delivery model, has expanded to over 100 cities (there) and is able to optimise its routes.

However, Ong stressed that the large vehicle segment is not its sole focus, as the startup is eyeing growth across all segments and wants to double its 20,000-25,000 orders a week by early next year.