S’pore haulage start-up acquires RI platform in bid to expand across SE Asia

Haulio chief executive said, “We believe this is the right time and right business fit to help build a strong foundation for our business to scale up in digitising the sector”.

Adeline Tan

Adeline Tan

The Straits Times


Haulio co-founders Sebastian Shen (left) and Alvin Ea. The local haulage start-up has about 100 employees across South-east Asia. BT PHOTO: YEN MENG JIIN

December 7, 2022

SINGAPORE – Home-grown haulage start-up Haulio said it had acquired a majority stake in Logol, an Indonesian digital logistics platform.

The firm, which did not want to disclose how much its first overseas acquisition was worth, said on Tuesday this came as part of its bid to expand its presence across South-east Asia.

It said the acquisition would help it to secure an early presence in the Indonesian market and expand its businesses to include other digital logistics solutions that Logol offers.

Haulio chief executive and co-founder Alvin Ea said: “We believe this is the right time and right business fit to help build a strong foundation for our business to scale up in digitalising the sector in South-east Asia. We see the potential to tap on the current wave of logistics businesses moving from offline to online.”

He said the acquisition will help to fast-track the start-up’s growth by adding 2,000 vehicles to its current fleet. The first-mile container logistics market in South-east Asia is worth about US$70 billion (S$95 billion).

First-mile delivery is the first stage of transportation in the logistics supply chain, such as from the shipping ports to warehouses.

With many terminals and container depots across the region still relying mostly on cash and paper work, Haulio aims to tap on Logol’s technology in Indonesia and improve the digitalisation of the logistics sector.

Logol, a Jarkarta-based logistics platform founded in 2018, helps to connect businesses with logistics service providers in Indonesia. It is in use at the Port of Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest and busiest port, as well as at container depots and terminals around the country.

Haulio, which started in 2017, helps to connect first-mile container haulers with shippers through its digital platform. It has about 100 employees across South-east Asia.

In January, it raised US$7 million in its Series A round led by Temasek’s Heliconia Capital.

The acquisition is Haulio’s first step to grow its presence in the region and it wants to widen its operations to Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam in the next three years through tie-ups and acquisitions.

It is already operating in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.

The start-up also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Centre of Excellence in Modelling and Simulation for Next Generation Ports, which is under the National University of Singapore College of Design and Engineering, to help develop and commercialise an automation system designed to make haulage processes more efficient.

The Smart Haulage Scheduler, as it is called, will help to improve the planning process by eliminating manual activities and free up time for the operational team to focus on other tasks.

The acquisition announcement was made at Haulio’s fifth anniversary celebrations on Tuesday, which was held at PSA Horizons in Harbour Drive.

Minister of State for Trade and Industry Low Yen Ling, who attended the event, said local companies like Haulio should use opportunities to venture abroad and expand their international presence, now that the borders have reopened.

She said: “Through internationalisation, companies can build their scale and realise greater business potential. Besides organic growth, merger and acquisitions, as well as strategic partnerships, are ways that Singapore companies can get a foothold in overseas markets.”

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