While Malaysia has a countless number of businesses that carry out logistics (seriously, just check out this 2019 directory that lists them all out), perhaps none are as well-known as Lalamove when it comes to last-mile deliveries.
However, it’s not a
Malaysian startup. It began in Hong Kong and moved into Malaysia when it noticed
a gap in our market that it could address: the pressing need for on-demand or
same-day deliveries, especially for SMEs.
In an interview with Vulcan
Post, the Managing Director of Lalamove Malaysia, Shen Ong, shared that the
goal upon Lalamove’s entrance into our market was to become the 1-stop delivery
solution for businesses of all sizes.
Half A Million
Deliveries In 1 Year
It was expected that
specific considerations would have had to be taken when Lalamove set foot on
From a cultural
perspective, Shen Ong said that there is still a need to educate the market,
not just from a brand perspective, but also from a technological standpoint,
such as market penetration for mobile phone use.
Besides that, Lalamove
also had to first understand the market needs, and find its niche in the competitive
“We had to ensure that
we priced ourselves fairly and launched the delivery options that were the most
likely to succeed,” Shen Ong told us. In addition to focusing on the wider
consumer market, they also prioritised SMEs.
But are same-day
deliveries really so important?
Apparently so, since
Lalamove Malaysia has already completed over 500,000 deliveries so far, the
most common of which are 2-wheel vehicle deliveries.
“On the end consumer
side, we are now conditioned towards instant gratification,” Shen Ong explained,
“As a result, the expectation to receive goods and services instantly has
become the norm.”
From a B2B standpoint,
however, Shen Ong stated that businesses want to grow faster than ever before. In
order to scale up, they would need partners who prioritise rapid accomplishment
of tasks or keep up to their pace, which is where on-demand delivery comes in.
But deliveries do come
with their own set of challenges.
The Higher You Go,
The More Challenges There Are
A key challenge
Lalamove Malaysia faced back then was to figure out relevant industries to
“A lot of time was
spent on trial and error, cold calling, surveys, and determining our target
demographic,” Shen Ong said.
Businesses were also
still doing things the traditional way, and end consumers were used to the manual,
time-consuming process of delivery.
In fact, end users
were so used to the longer process that it was a challenge to break the habit,
even if it gave better, quicker results, according to Shen Ong.
To combat this, the Lalamove
Malaysia team had to educate segments of the market on the benefits of a
same-day or on-demand delivery solution.
As they moved higher
up the value chain, the challenges of delivery also increased in both number
Since crossing their
one-year milestone, Lalamove Malaysia’s existing user base has grown (and is
still growing) exponentially.
So not only do they
have to ensure that they have the capabilities to support this growth, but they
also need to constantly add new value-added services.
One example is their recently launched van delivery service, which brought along its own set of challenges which Lalamove Malaysia then had to tailor solutions to address.
deliveries can seem pretty demanding for riders, we wondered how the company avoids
Shen Ong expressed his
understanding that good service is what matters the most to customers and keeps
up the retention rate, and good service can only come from healthy employees.
“We do not mandate
compulsory working hours at all, since we are running a gig economy set up,” he
said. “If the riders are tired or don’t feel like working, they can always take
a break and continue on later.”
When we asked how many
registered riders and drivers Lalamove Malaysia now has, Shen Ong gave us a
ballpark number of about 40,000.
But No Real Competition
“We have multiple
competitors who offer part and parcel of what we offer, yet none of them
provides a comparably holistic selection of delivery options like we do,” Shen
“Our lorries, vans,
cars, and motorcycles can manage a wider spectrum of delivery sizes, from
moving services to local courier services. Our key advantage is we are providing
on-demand deliveries, and as a result, we are able to offer an improved
At the moment,
however, the only customers who can enjoy this experience are those located in
the Klang Valley.
While Shen Ong didn’t
explicitly state that they’ll be expanding their services to other Malaysian
areas anytime soon, he did say that they see themselves as the last-mile
logistics provider in the country, so keep your fingers crossed.
I personally tried out
Lalamove the other day, and got to experience for myself how easy, quick, and efficient
delivering a small package was.
Granted, I didn’t have
to get it delivered in the same day, but as someone who has low expectations
for delivery services, I was surprised when the rider graciously called half an
hour earlier than the set time for pickup.
Because I was
available then, I managed to pass the package to him and about 20 minutes
later, the recipient messaged me to inform me that she had already received it.
It may or may not have been a one-off experience, but it certainly has convinced me that Lalamove Malaysia would probably be my service of choice for future deliveries.
Featured Image Credit: Lalamove Malaysia