Despite the more complex market conditions in the post-pandemic era, Duckbill achieved over 40% growth in orders in 2023
Chinese digital container logistic platform Duckbill (Chinese: 鸭嘴兽) announced recently the completion of another multi-million dollar investment from existing shareholder Zhuopu Investment (Chinese: 拙朴投资) before the end of 2023. This marks Duckbill's consistent record of receiving new investments every year since its establishment in 2017.
According to Tianyancha, Duckbill has undergone 10 rounds of financing since its inception, with investors including Zhuopu Investment, CICC Capital, Shunwei Capital, Eminence Ventures (Chinese: 靖亚资本), Future Capital (Chinese: 明势资本), ANTS VC (Chinese: 安持资本), and others. In July 2018, Duckbill received a pre-A round investment in the tens of millions from Zhuopu Investment, followed by another injection in September of the same year.
In July 2022, Duckbill announced a C round financing of CNY 330 million (around USD 48.85 million), led by SAIC-CICC private equity fund, with continued participation from existing shareholders Shunwei Capital, Future Capital, and Furu Rong Capital (Chinese: 复容资本). The startup used the fresh funds to support the ongoing research and development of digitalization in container land transportation, business expansion to more ports across China, and optimization of service, the statement reported.
Established in 2017, Duckbill provides standardized and professional container trucking services for international freight forwarders and factories. Through the "Future Truck Boss" app, truck drivers can independently handle order acceptance, operations, billing, and more. The platform ensures 24/7 continuous control over the transportation process. Headquartered in Shanghai, Duckbill Beast has branches in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Ningbo, Qingdao, Taicang, and Lianyungang, with over 550 employees. The research and development team constitutes 30% of the workforce, producing dozens of intellectual property rights annually, and the company has been certified as a high-tech enterprise.
Founder Tang Hongbin, a graduate of Fudan University's Computer Science Department, has several years of experience in IT system development for shipping logistics and the research and operation management of internet platforms in the maritime logistics field. The core team, with over 10 years of experience in container shipping logistics software development, hails from top enterprises in the shipping industry such as China COSCO Shipping and Orient Overseas Container Line. Their expertise in digitally transforming the lengthy business chain of container transportation positions them uniquely in achieving digital synergy between business operations, trade, logistics, finance, and ports.
Public information indicates that Duckbill has nearly 4,000 long-term serviced vehicles and collaborates with over 15,000 temporary vehicles, making it the world's largest enterprise in the container trucking field. The company continuously leads in digital research and development investment and operations.
Currently, its service network covers major domestic ports, with rapid expansion into inland river terminals. The construction of the Southeast Asian service network has also commenced, with container trucking services at Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh Port set to launch by the end of 2023. Duckbill has served nearly 20,000 corporate clients, including freight forwarding agencies, large manufacturing enterprises, shipping companies, and port terminal enterprises. It has established deep collaborations with core enterprises in the foreign trade sector, such as Midea Group, KUKA Home, Sinotrans, China COSCO Shipping, and Ningbo Port.
Founder Tang Hongbin stated that with the deepening development of domestic multimodal transportation and the continuous internationalization of Chinese brands, the container transportation channel has become more complex, emphasizing the increasing importance of networked fulfillment capabilities. Simultaneously, Tang Hongbin believes that the energy revolution will present new opportunities for the heavy truck transportation industry, with the application of new energy trucks further driving industry transformation.
Zhipu Investment founding partner Shao Nan believes that Duckbill's sustained high-speed growth in the current environment further demonstrates the company's competitive strength. In the new economic environment, the focus on costs by manufacturing enterprises will increase, and the cost and service advantages will lead more manufacturing enterprises to choose Duckbill. With more Chinese brands choosing to go international, marking the beginning of a new era of internationalization, logistics companies like Duckbill will encounter greater opportunities.
In the future, while Duckbill continues to enhance its domestic network, it actively promotes the construction of overseas networks. The trailer service at Ho Chi Minh Port by Duckbill has already commenced operations. The company's "Land-to-Water" transformation efforts are showing initial success, providing customers with multimodal transportation solutions based on inland river terminals such as Zhapu, Dushan, Deqing, and Suzhou ICT.
Furthermore, given the popularity of electric trucks among customers concerned about carbon emissions, Duckbill has begun introducing electric truck services at various domestic ports. The company plans to continuously expand the scale of new energy trucks, aiming to establish itself as a super-transportation enterprise with a transport scale in the tens of thousands by 2025.