The changing market scenarios after a boost in the digital economy has motivated many industries to go digital. The logistics sector is not behind it. The logistic sector also has achieved a lot of pace in its growth with the adoption of the latest and modern digital technologies.
Ezyhaul is one such company that is empowering the sector with its cutting-edge technological solutions that cater to the vital needs of businesses in the sector. Ezyhaul is a digital freight platform that connects Shippers with Carriers. Ezyhaul has been founded in 2016. The company currently operates in six countries, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, and is now one of the largest digital freight platforms in South Asia. Currently, they have a team of more than close to 300 people and are handling over 50,000 shipments every month.
In a talk with Mr. Raymond Gillon, CEO of Ezyhaul, let’s discover more about Ezyhaul and its journey since its inception.
Tell us about Ezyhaul and its business model.
In this era, ‘Go Digital’ is the only and important solution for business growth. And with that aim to transform the logistic sector, Ezyhaul provides the utmost agile digital platform for Shippers. The company operates in only B2B segments that have outsourced transport activities.
For better ROA by not having vehicles (assets) on the balance sheet, higher flexibility if volumes are fluctuating (e.g. in peak season), ability to reduce costs (only pay for transportation when you move cargo) shippers are outsourcing their transport activities. Trading companies, manufacturing companies, freight forwarders/3PL’s are a few of them.
Ezyhaul works with various industry verticals on different scales. We work with SME clients (small and medium-sized local companies), MNC clients (larger clients with a presence in more than one country), 3PL clients (local and international freight forwarding companies that outsource (part of) their transportation. SME trucking/transport companies that operate 3-50 transport vehicles are Ezyhaul’s carriers.
Our Business Model Consists of 2 Major Elements:
An online marketplace where we connect supply and demand in a very efficient manner
Transport Management System: how we manage and control the transport activities (after a match under 1. has been made) using the latest technologies. Through our mobile application and IoT devices, we collect a large amount of data during the transport process that is subsequently being used to provide visibility for our clients, but which also allows useful insights through large data analysis, reporting and has allowed machine learning. Both elements business model elements are largely driven by technology.
Our business model is comparable with Uber Freight and Convoy who operate in the USA. We do not see ourselves disrupting the market, but we aim to transform it. We believe that our digital freight platform is adding value for all parties involved and as such has an important role to play in the future of the industry.
What is the reason behind the company’s long-standing success?
We see a couple of key success factors in Ezyhaul:
- People: First and foremost, the people that work in our organization make a difference every day. Our team members are extremely committed to achieving our goals and our promises to ourselves, our clients, transport partners, and investors. We tend to hire people with an analytical bent which allows us to problem solve and arrive at solutions to meet our clients’ needs.
- Technology: Our Technology has been a key factor in the success of the company. Our platform allows organizations to transform their transport operations from manual, expensive, and inefficient to automated, productive, and agile, optimizing their operations and administrative tasks. Our technology provides shippers transparency in pricing through dynamic real-time quotes via the Ezyhaul platform. Besides this, it provides shippers with end-to-end visibility into their transport processes, allowing them to follow all the shipments in real-time and control what is happening with the cargo.
- Industry Know-how: The founding team of Ezyhaul is all seasoned logistics professionals (see also Q8). All founding members have 20+ years of experience in the industry. Therefore, we have a very good understanding of the pain points of our clients and transport partners and have developed our platform to address the challenges our clients are facing. This has helped us enormously to build a platform that provides very tangible solutions for our clients.
We do distinguish ourselves from some of the other start-ups in our space where founders do not necessarily have this level of experience and know-how.
What are the products or services Ezyhaul focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
Ezyhaul’s cloud-based freight management platform connects shippers with carriers, addressing challenges faced by both parties. The platform provides shippers transparency in pricing through dynamic real-time quotes via the Ezyhaul platform. Besides this, it provides shippers with end-to-end visibility into their transport processes, allowing them to follow all the shipments in real-time and control what is happening with the cargo.
Ezyhaul also serves as a transport management system for carriers and enables them to manage their fleets and drivers more efficiently. Carriers are offered direct access to new loads and jobs to make extra revenue and better utilize their trucks. Ezyhaul employs IoT, big data analytics, and machine learning capabilities to increase planning efficiency and manage vehicle utilization and route optimization to achieve improved ROI and customer experience.
Ezyhaul’s user-friendly platform provides real-time 360-degree visibility into business processes and can be integrated with the client’s existing platforms to provide actionable insights.
We differentiate ourselves from other players in the sense that we are the only B2B digital freight platform operating in 6 markets in South Asia. This is providing us with unique economies of scale that competitors cannot achieve. “Besides this, we are collaborating very closely with one of our main investors and strategic partners DP DHL which is allowing us to grow to scale in new markets much quicker than other players can.”
According to you how has the digital technology sector changed in India?
The advent of smartphones and increasing tech adoption has led to a wave of digitization in India which in turn has created many successful start-ups. The logistics sector however was relatively late to adapt to the digitization trend. The logistics sector however was more or less not exposed to this wave until about 2015 or so. Over the last 6-7 years, there has been a multitude of start-ups created in the logistics space at the back of cheap data connectivity and increasing usage of internet technologies. At Ezyhaul, we have experienced this wave ourselves.
After launching in India in 2018, we now cover over 24 states across India, increased our revenue by 300% YoY, and have a Rolodex of leading clients.
How do you decide to take Ezyhaul a step further?
Being a logistics technology start-up, innovation is at the heart of what we do. We have the ensure that we continue to add value for our clients and business partners, otherwise there is always a risk that another start-up will emerge and will take market share.
In our management team, we spend a lot of time discussing our strategy and innovation roadmap. Based on developments in the market and requirements from our clients we often fine-tune our course to ensure we stay on track.
As a result of this process we are currently working on several new solutions:
Container haulage. Ezyhaul is currently developing a brand new module that is specifically built for the container haulage market. This module will provide a solution for some of the specific challenges that our clients experience in the container haulage segment (e.g. container demurrage and detention, terminal charges, container returns, etc.)
Cross-border transportation. Ezyhaul will develop a specific module for cross-border shipments, allowing customers to book shipments from as far as China down to Singapore.
Integration of services from our ecosystem channel partners (e.g. fuel, toll, insurance, etc.) in our platform.
We are building machine learning algorithms to help clients with finding transport capacity and give better predictions on arrival times. We are working together with strategic partners to see how we can use IoT devices in our vehicles to capture even more useful data during the transport process which will be used to add value for our clients.
Being a successful leader in the logistics technology landscape, please share your thoughts on how businesses should increase the quality and speed of processes?
The Logistics industry, compared to most other industries, is incredibly conservative when it comes to adopting new technologies. Many processes are still very manual. The use of standalone systems results in double/triple data entry resulting in mistakes and errors. Communication largely still happens via phone, email, and chat groups. Besides this, there is a high reliance on paper documents.
This results in a high level of inefficiency and slows down the speed of the processes, especially the financial processes.
New technologies do provide a huge opportunity for both Shippers and Carriers to improve efficiencies, improve asset utilization, drive down costs and improve profitability. Ezyhaul therefore actively uses IoT, big data analytics, and machine learning algorithms to support our clients driving efficiencies in their logistics processes and improving the service quality.
Besides quality and speed, there is also tremendous pressure from Shippers to reduce costs, something that is enforced by more professional procurement practices deployed by shippers. As a result, the margins in the transport industry are very low. But at the same time, the asset utilization of SME carriers is relatively low because they cannot find sufficient loads for their trucks.
Through our platform we, therefore, solve problems on both sides of the equation:
The shippers will be able to find transport capacity in the market at competitive rate levels. Besides this, they benefit from all the features that our platform offers them and provides them with more visibility and control and the ability to make the booking process significantly more efficient.
The carriers will be able to get additional loads for their vehicles, get better utilization of their assets, improve their profitability and get new clients. Besides this, through our ecosystem, we are providing additional value for carriers by connecting channel partners (e.g. fuel, insurance, financing, toll, etc.) to our platform.
Why it is said that the workforce plays a vital role in every business’s growth? Please tell us about your team.
It is often said that businesses must innovate or die and it is in this spirit that we have molded our team across countries. We tend to hire talent who have exhibited ways to innovate and have grown their divisions from 0 to 1. Across our countries, we see examples where teams innovate and problem solve which leads to more wins or better productivity both of which are critical lifelines for businesses.
Secondly, we instill a deep sense of ownership and responsibility within our teammates. We believe in hiring the best and empowering them to take control of their departments and teams. We stress the virtues of humility and truly believe there is no “I” in a TEAM.
Lastly, the diversity in our team is something we are proud of. We have colleagues from over 8 nationalities each of whom brings their nuances into the melting pot that is Ezyhaul
The founding team of Ezyhaul is all seasoned logistics professionals. All founding members have 20+ years of experience in the industry. Therefore, we have a very good understanding of the pain points of our clients and transport partners and have developed our platform to address the challenges our clients are facing.
What are the typical challenges your clients face how do you help them to tackle with those challenges?
We see some typical challenges with our clients like lack of visibility, lack of control, lack of smooth flow in payment processes, and a major focus on manual work.
We help Shippers find transport capacity at highly competitive rates in the market via our marketplace. Through our Transport Management solution, we provide full end-to-end visibility in the transport process. Via our web interface, the client can follow all his shipments in real-time and control what is happening with his cargo. Payments are handled fully electronically and charges are completely transparent (no surprises when the invoice arrives)
We offer the ability for our clients to integrate their systems (ERP, TMS, WMS, etc.) with our platform through API or EDI so that customers can send their transport bookings completely electronically without double data entry, etc.
Typical challenges we see with our Carriers (trucking companies) in the logistics landscape:
- Relatively low asset utilization (difficult to find sufficient loads for their vehicles)
- Low level of profitability
- Difficulty to find a new business (most SME carriers cannot hire a large team of salespeople to grow the business)
- Downward pressure on rates as shippers are deploying more professional procurement services
- Cash management. Payment behaviour in the industry is not very good. As result carriers are often waiting very long to get paid. Since they have a lot of upfront costs like fuel, toll, driver salaries, etc. it means cash flow is often an issue
How Ezyhaul helps Carriers with these challenges:
We help them through our platform, on which carriers have direct access to new loads and jobs. This allows them to make extra revenue and get a better utilization for their trucks. Through our Transport Management Solution, Carriers are also using our platform as a TMS system which allows them to manage their fleet and their drivers.
Ezyhaul always pays the carriers on time. Through our platform Carriers can do self-billing allowing for a much more efficient invoice audit and payment process. This helps the carriers a lot in their cash management Furthermore, Ezyhaul is building an ecosystem where it is connecting channel partners to the platform. This will allow Carriers to get much better deals on fuel, insurance, phones, tyres, financing, etc. Ezyhaul is using its buying power to the benefit of its transport partners.
We do distinguish ourselves from some of the other start-ups in our space where founders do not necessarily have this level of experience and know-how.
What are the key achievements of your business journey?
We are especially proud of our growth story thus far. In the past 24 months, the company has grown over 30x. We are currently one of the largest platforms in South Asia in terms of volume and revenue. We are also the only digital B2B freight platform that operates in 6 markets in South Asia. As a highlight, we see our ability to continue to grow the company even during the covid pandemic. This situation has posed numerous additional challenges, but despite these challenges, we managed to rapidly expand the business.
Noteworthy is that despite an inability to travel internationally because of the lockdowns and be on the ground in new markets we have managed to very successfully open two new countries: Indonesia and the Philippines. The entire process from the incorporation of our business entities, acquiring the licenses, opening bank accounts, and hiring key staff has all been managed and coordinated completed remotely, which we believe was a tremendous accomplishment.
Any client experience you would like to highlight?
We have made a lot of tremendous progress with the Mining & Minerals sector in India and have become the transportation partner of choice for many leading conglomerates in this space. We recently completed a project for a client where we were required to move over 250,000 Metric tonnes of minerals from the client’s mining facility to the port.
At short notice, we were able to mobilize over 600 trucks per day for this movement and completed the quota of 250,000 MT in less than 20 days much to the astonishment of our client. We were able to execute such a project at pace due to the scale of our transporter base, our technology which allows us to quickly identify the right carriers in the right lanes, and track n trace which paves the way for our back-end teams to monitor movements and keep our clients informed at all times.
In another example, we were able to reduce our client’s transport spend by 7% by using our in-house TOP – Transportation Optimization Planner to digest our client’s booking data, optimize the weight and dimensions, and plan the routes which then get dispatched to our carriers. Traditionally, the client would manually plan their routes and vehicles which had many inefficiencies however post integrating with our platform our client was able to achieve cost savings, increased visibility, and improved productivity.
- Founding Year: 2016
- Headquarters: Singapore
- Ezyhaul has over 2,000 clients in 6 countries: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Client segments: SME, MNC, and 3PL. Examples of larger clients: Cargill, Coca Cola, DHL, Pepsi, DB Schenker, Reliance Industries, JSW, On-Semi, Flipkart
- Raymond Gillon – CEO
- Mudasar Mohamed – COO
- Mark Debastista – VP Sales
- Nicky Lum – Director Sales
- David Spellenberg – CFO
Awards: NTCC Innovation Award 2017, Accenture Freight and Logistics Innovation Award 2019,