Beijing-based Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing company, will soon launch on-demand trucking services and is currently recruiting drivers, the company confirmed with KrASIA on Monday.
The firm has already added a new channel, called Huoyun (“cargo shipping” in English), on the Didi app, and plans to hire 580 new drivers of cargo-carrying vans, or trucks, according to 36Kr.
While the company has yet to launch the new service, it has begun promoting this channel inside the Didi app in 10 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Zhengzhou, by offering discount coupons.
“We aim to provide our customers a better service by leveraging our data analysis and order dispatching capabilities, safety management expertise, and offline driver management experiences,” a Didi spokesman told KrASIA on Monday.
Didi is a latecomer in the on-demand trucking sector, as Hong-Kong headquartered Lalamove and Tianjin-headquartered Kuaigou Dache have taken 80% share of the market in China, according to 36Kr. The service caters mainly to individuals moving sizeable items over long distances, like electric scooters or furniture, or transporting a large amount of goods, for example when moving houses.
Trucking isn’t Didi’s first foray outside ride-hailing services. The company launched an intra-city errand service in Chengdu, Sichuan, and Hangzhou, which can deliver small goods like groceries, medicine, and flowers. The service was enabled by drivers from the firm’s dedicated service Didi Chauffeur as the first batch of errand runners in March.
Didi challenger Hello Chuxing has meanwhile started to test intercity delivery services between Dongguan and Foshan, two cities in southern China’s Guangdong province, allowing drivers to deliver packages weighing less than 30kg within a distance of 500 kilometers.
36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company