Manbang CEO says there is room for freight growth in China

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The fruit of the union between former truck-hailing business rivals Huochebang.cn and Ymm56.com is Manbang. Its first-ever CEO, Wang Gang, projected room available in the Chinese freight market for growth that the company hopes to take advantage of. His comments came at the establishment of the Big Data laboratory, Yicai Global reports. This facility serves as the key to utilizing big data to improve transport.

According to Wang, “Manbang first needs to consolidate the original trading platforms of Huochebang.cn and Ymm56.com before further developing value-added services such as fleet, finance and ETC (electronic toll collection), thus shifting from a platform company into a smart enterprise and ultimately becoming a firm with its own ecosystem.”

Wang is banking on the scale and technology found in the merged companies. He was described in the report as a “consummate matchmaker.” With the clash of corporate cultures cultivated based on the competitive nature instilled in the respective firms, it served as a challenge accepted by Wang based on one important lesson - that when operators clash, both parties lose business. In hopes of regaining more business transactions, both firms eventually consented to the arranged marriage.

And its new CEO seems like the child that welcomed the pressure to take on the legacy of his parents. The companies retained their original operating structures. Wang experience includes an investor in “China’s Uber,” Didi Chuxing.

Wang’s exposure in Didi Chuxing proved to be an insight about how bigger does not automatically mean better. He discovered that the actual barrier to conquer is new technology. “Didi’s development in the past 5 years has proven this. Massive subsidies for consumers would not be an enduring solution. Ultimately, we still need to rely on technology to develop core competitiveness.”

Data integration is crucial to making a transportation company grow. But instead of commuters, Wang through Manbang will be catering to the freight market. His experience from Didi Chuxing will serve as a platform for Wang to use in making technology work for the company.

Information provided by Huochebang.cn’s chief executive, Luo Peng, helped in seeing where Manbang could possibly start. “Some 70% of truck drivers responsible for mid- and long-haul routes use truck-hailing apps, which will generate substantial income for our company.”

Huochebang.cn alone works with more than 2.3 million trucks that cater to up to 100,000 orders a day. Transporting goods from farm tools to seeds to coal and other construction materials. The company earned as much as US$120 million as of press time from these transactions. But its goal is to meet the freight demand in China totaling at 20 million trucks.

The company has also started including truck-related services in its roster. Luo explained as “In [the] future, our app will be linked with vehicle management authorities’ systems to help truck drivers replace license plates and pay fines, which will generate decent profits.”

Manbang has considered getting into ventures related to new energy and self-driving vehicles. They have also thought about expanding business overseas as stated in the same event.

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