A partnership to expand a user-friendly app connecting small and independent commercial vehicle drivers with customers in Sri Lanka. The partnership will de-risk Pick my Load to expand its existing business into a new market segment, reaching small business owners and independent drivers in rural and semi-urban areas.
Small, independent drivers of commercial vehicles in Sri Lanka lack consistent work. Large transporters dominate the market and are better positioned to attract corporate clients. On the demand side, small businesses lack reliable, efficient, and cost-effective transportation solutions while an increase in online sales is driving growth in the sector.
Globally, the logistics industry is a male-dominated sector with very low female participation. There are many barriers to entering the industry with irregular work hours, a lack of training and experience, and safety concerns.
About the initiative
Pick my load (PML) is a web application platform that connects small, independent commercial vehicle operators with corporates and small businesses to transport heavy goods. PML has been operational since 2019, under Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), a company publicly listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange. The platform currently connects 25 corporate clients to a registered driver base of over 3,500 in Western Province.
The initiative aims to de-risk the expansion of PML into rural and semi-urban provinces outside Western Province. Through the partnership, PML will onboard drivers and provide them with the necessary skills to use the mobile-based platform, and the soft skills to engage with corporate clients. The platform will leverage the wider driver base to offer SMEs access to its cost-effective transportation solutions.
Creating opportunities for rural women
This initiative aims to recognise and strengthen women’s role in the haulage industry by tackling the main barriers of entry and increasing opportunities. There are plans to develop an SOS feature that drivers can press to notify the PML operations team, and a tracking feature allows the driver’s location to be accessed at any time during the trip in the event of an emergency (e.g. a breakdown). PML will tap into relationships with banks and leasing companies to incentivise female participation in the form of special loans or leasing rates for female SME owners or female drivers interested in joining PML.
Key contributions from partners
- Pickmyload is supporting the human-centred design process, conducting awareness and onboarding campaigns for drivers and SMEs, partnering with leasing companies and providing training to drivers on how to use the platform.
- Australian Government is contributing catalytic funding and can provide gender expertise to strengthen social and commercial impacts, connect to an extensive network, support to capture and report social impact, safeguards standards and practices, national and global recognition.
Hear from Pick My Load
“Creating a sustainable goods transportation ecosystem that enables individual drivers, and small-to-medium sized businesses to engage with each other, is the core to the Pick My Load platform. We believe that providing drivers with the necessary tools to easily connect and offer their services while enabling SMEs to source reliable transportation services, empowers and uplifts communities and entrepreneurs vital to economic growth.”
Ranjith Pandithage, Chairman & Managing Director, Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC
This partnership was selected through the BPP’s 2020 Call for Partnerships