Huochebang, an Uber-type service for trucks, now works with over 3.7 million trucks in China, using a cloud-based logistics platform. The company has been in the spotlight as it is believed that its service helped the mainland save a substantial amount of money in fuel costs.
The app is also said to have contributed to a reduction of carbon emission to the extent of 33 million tons, attracting praise from top leaders including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
The company achieved astounding growth in the last couple of years. It has lured big giants like Tencent Holdings, Baidu and International Finance Corp. as investors and raised about US$370 million in a financing round that valued the startup at over US$1 billion.
Huochebang also partnered with Alibaba’s cloud unit and Zhong An Online Property and Casualty Insurance, China’s first internet-only insurer.
The platform matches freight trucks across the nation with shippers in need of transportation help.
It’s estimated that there are around 7 million freight trucks in China, most of which are owned by individuals, who find it hard to improve the efficiency.
Another common headache is trucks often get one-way order and have to return to their base empty.
The platform now serves 630,000 shippers and handles more than 130,000 orders per day, involving as much as 1.5 billion yuan in shipping fees daily.
As for its revenue model, basic matching service is free. Huochebang earns money by selling auxiliary services, ranging from loans to insurance, auto parts and second-hand truck dealing.
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