Unilever invests in on-demand logistics platform TheLorry
By Digital News Asia April 17, 2019
- Investment follows successful trial partnership between both parties in Malaysia in 2017
- Unilever will support TheLorry with roll out of ops across Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Philippines
TheLorry is on a roll. Fresh from announcing, two weeks ago, a US$5.85 million Series B round, it now has locked in a strategic investment from FMCG giant, Unilever. While the value of the investment is not disclosed, it will be in the form of Unilever acquiring equity via convertible preference shares.
Unilever Foundry, Unilever’s global startup collaboration platform, identified TheLorry as an innovative, efficient and exciting startup, disrupting and redefining ‘last mile’ logistics in the region.
In line with investment, TheLorry will move some of its core management to LEVEL3, a coworking space in Singapore connected to Unilever’s regional headquarters, which brings together startups, corporates and ecosystem partners to drive innovation and create new partnerships.
TheLorry will use cutting edge technology to support Unilever in reaching its customers with on-demand and on-time deliveries. The service provides transparent pricing with lower fees, ease of access to fleets with 24/7 connectivity, 100% track and trace, and real time market price benchmarking.
Drivers are able to capitalise on under-utilised and idle capacity, connecting them to available demand through a dedicated app and tablet device, which then provides free routing, communication, telematics and insights to improve driving behaviour.
The relationship began in 2017 when Unilever trialled a partnership with TheLorry in Malaysia to help Unilever complete 620 deliveries across a two-month period. This represented a 99.2% success rate of order delivery through improved route planning and 6.2% of secondary transport cost savings reducing efficiency gaps in load.
The pilot also helped Unilever identify areas of improvement in communication flows between the company, third party logistics providers and the transporter. Through a deeper partnership over the next three years, Unilever hopes to achieve secondary transport cost savings of 12% through a delivery success rate of 99.5% and on-time proof of delivery (POD) submission of 100%.
“Through working with Unilever Foundry we had the opportunity to trial a pilot in Malaysia which obtained successful results enabling us to work on a day-to-day basis with the company. We are delighted that today we oversee all local trade in Malaysia for Unilever products," said TheLorry managing director Goh Chee Hau (pic).
“We are currently focusing on the Southeast Asian markets, and plan to expand into Vietnam and the Philippines, to not only strengthen our brand, but to become a leading market player in the region,” adds Goh. TheLorry has expanded operations beyond Malaysia since 2017 into Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
In a unique collaboration, Unilever will support TheLorry with the roll out of operations across Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, with the opportunity to scale further across Unilever’s substantial supply chain network.
As well as providing services to Unilever and customers TheLorry will also identify new business relationships with other customers and businesses across the region.
Olivier Carnet, Head of Supply Chain and Manufacturing Southeast Asia Australasia and Head of Global Logistics, Unilever, said, “This partnership represents the power of embedding digital technology and new ‘sharing’ business models into the system. In 2017 we studied emerging and new entrants to the transportation and logistics sector in Southeast Asia to understand ways we could disrupt conventional supply chain models. The results of our initial partnership with TheLorry are clear.
“Today we are excited to announce the next phase of our collaboration as we support TheLorry’s expansion across the region. This will benefit our customers and supply chain partners, improve efficiency in our system, and ensure there are fewer wasted driving journeys which will lead to environmental benefits in the cities operate in. It will also provide the opportunity for this exciting company to scale across the region at speed.”