Shiptek, UBP in talks to seal logistics venture deal
A Filipino tech company that wants to be the Amazon.com Inc. of logistics services is taking on a key strategic partner in step with an ambition to become a global company.
Eugenio Ynion Jr., CEO and president of Shiptek Solutions Corp., told the Inquirer that they were finalizing an investment agreement with the Aboitiz family’s Union Bank of the Philippines, one of the country’s largest lenders.
Union Bank, which had been aggressively expanding its footprint in digital services and blockchain applications, would be taking a 30-percent stake for an undisclosed amount, Ynion said.
Shiptek was established in 2016 and its main product is XLOG, an end-to-end digital platform that links costumers with a variety of logistics providers such as shipping, warehousing and trucking companies.
Ynion—who has been in the logistics business for over two decades via Yngen Holdings, owner of Le Soleil Shipping—said he wanted to bring much needed innovation in an industry that had been generally resistant to technological change.
“I got bored,” Ynion said. “I wanted to improve and streamline the process by using technology.”
This set Ynion on a path that eventually led to the creation of XLOG, which he said was fully developed by Filipino software engineers.
With XLOG, which was launched last year, Ynion consolidated shipping, trucking, brokerage and warehousing services into a cloud-based platform.
Firms gain access to a vast market while shippers can expect “cost-effective” transactions.
The business opportunity is large with the Philippines Freight & Logistics Market Study forecasting the industry to be worth around $60 billion by 2023. Recognizing the importance of the segment, conglomerates such as Ayala Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and the SM Group have made investments or sealed partnerships with logistics companies.
Ynion said they were preparing for global expansion in a few years, apart from a potential public listing in Singapore.
Nico Gonzales, marketing and sales director at Shiptek, noted the robust growth in bookings on XLOG’s platform.
With the support of the Union Bank investment, he said, the company was targeting 50,000- 80,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) in volume for 2019. The company recorded over 3,000 TEUs in the last six months.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.