AsiaPorts and Logistics

Novel Singapore container haulage start-up emerges

Singapore’s home-grown container haulage start-up Haulio has raised S$1m ($745,000) in seed round investment, led by PSA unboXed together with 500 Startups, NUS Enterprise and several logistics industry angel investors. This seed funding comes after their previous pre-seed round of S$75,000 from returning investors PSA unboxed and NUS Enterprise, which is the sole prior funding round raised by Haulio.

Haulio, which was previously incubated by PSA unboXed, will be using this fresh injection of funds for rapid scaling of the business and targets, with the capturing of the local market in sight, as the start-up aims to unite a traditionally fragmented shipping and logistics industry.

Founded in December 2016 by Alvin Ea and Sebastian Shen, Haulio is a centralised, collaborative platform designed for the container haulage industry to optimise and share their resources.

“The B2B platform rethinks the way containers are moved and aims to be the most reliable and efficient way to ship a container on land,” a release claimed.

Currently Haulio has over 200 companies onboard the platform, with over 80 hauliers and over 100 freight forwarders and end customers. They bring over a fleet of more than 1,000 trucks to the platform, having moved over 35,000 teu equivalent to over half a million tonnes of cargoes since their launch in May 2017 and an average of 200 containers daily for their users to date.

“There is desire in the industry for change – which is where Haulio comes in to target this unexplored potential with collaborative technology,” said Alvin Ea, co-founder and CEO of Haulio, who previously ran his own haulage business prior to this. “We are solving a major problem in the industry – strain on infrastructure and insufficient facilities during peaks with underutilisation during lull periods. We’ve only just begun our journey with less than 1% done; the rest of the 4,000 ports in the world awaits.”

Elton Fong, team lead of PSA unboXed, commented, “Haulio is in line with PSA’s vision for the container port of the future, a part of which is increased connectivity with the logistics and supply chain industry and greater productivity for all stakeholders involved.”

PSA unboXed is PSA International’s corporate venture capital arm that invests in start-ups with innovations that bring strategic value to the global terminal operator.

Khailee Ng, managing partner of 500 Startups from Silicon Valley, said: “Having invested in over 20 international markets, we’ve seen how simple ideas can catch fire and spread globally, fast. We saw this in investments like Grab. When we met Haulio, we knew, this is it.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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