Fresh from Logivan’s win at Hong Kong RISE’s pitching competition, Linh Pham, CEO and founder, sat down with us to discuss her quest to create a better system for logistics in Vietnam.
Born and bred in Hanoi, Linh Pham first moved overseas when she went to study Natural Sciences and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cambridge in the UK. After graduating, she took a position at Goldman Sachs in London, before leaving finance to attempt her own startup there. When things didn’t pan out, she decided to head back to Vietnam where she began working for the family business in manufacturing. A year in and she identified a pressing logistics problem – delivery trucks were mostly empty on the return legs, creating an expensive problem for both suppliers and those in the delivery trade. Thus, the inspiration behind Logivan was born.
Founded in September 2017 and officially incorporated in November, Logivan is just under a year old but already making impressive tracks. Linh explains what exactly the company does: “We are a platform that matches freights and trucks. So, cargo owners host freights on our platform to look for a truck and likewise truck owners come to the app and see whether they have any particular loadage they could run and then they can bid on the load.” This provides a quicker, cheaper and more reliable way of utilising the empty return leg.
“On every single continent there’s a model for trucks, for example in the US they have Uber Freight, Transfix, Convoy, in the UK Ucargo, in Brazil there’s CargoX, in Europe there are OnTruck and in India they have Blackbuck,” Linh informs us. “We aren’t the first in Vietnam, but we are the first with scale”. She believes that Vietnam, like most Southeast Asian countries, is particularly unique due to its fragmented market. The aim of Logivan is to bring together all the individual players to solve the issue of this system, which currently creates little value for anyone involved.
A recent success for Logivan has been their win at Hong Kong’s RISE Conference’s 2018 pitching competition. Referred to the contest by one of their investor friends, Linh puts her win down to “markets, team and traction.” When asked what Logivan plans to do with any momentum this has brought them, she says “that’s a difficult question, because we’ve won and made tonnes of connections with investors, with startups and we really enjoy the process. So, we have no set plans, but we’ll try to expose ourselves more to competitions like this in the future. It’s very beneficial but I think it’s more important to focus on the company at the moment.”
Linh is extremely confident that Logivan will be able to create a positive change in the future of logistics in Vietnam. According to her, as it stands, 76% of freight transportation in Vietnam is done by road, so if Logivan can make the industry even 1% more effective, that would mean saving billions of dollars, as logistics costs account for around 3% of production costs.
In the short term, Logivan’s aims are to better their customer service, improve their core tech products and source the right talents to join the team. They also have partnerships under their belt with Siskiyou and Chevron. And, as for further into the future? “We would definitely like to expand to other countries in Southeast Asia, as there are the same problems there, places such as Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. We can solve them by basically creating a more efficient business environment.” The way Logivan is going, it seems only a matter of time before their ideas are implemented on a larger scale.