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E-hailing gets a twist with goods transport service in Sabah

 | September 4, 2017

Former air steward forms company inspired by Jason Statham's movie 'The Transporter'.

5verKOTA KINABALU: Although action flick “The Transporter” is a work of fiction, one man has brought the service to life with 5ver, combining Uber and PosLaju to deliver goods around the city.

Kuala Lumpur-born Anuar Halim said when he came to Kota Kinabalu, he noticed there were more four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles on the roads than in any other city in the country.

“But what struck me the most was how under-utilised all these vehicles are. Most of the time, they are just idle.

“At the same time, I also noticed the locals here actually use these vehicles to transport everything.

“I saw 4WD pickups carrying refrigerators, wardrobes, even livestock.”

At that point, Anuar, who used to be an air steward, had no knowledge of the ins and outs of an e-hailing service.

To address that problem, he became a Uber driver in Kuala Lumpur to learn the trade.

Realising that the ride-sharing business does not fully benefit drivers, he was determined that his e-hailing service would make the drivers business owners and not workers.

So he chose the name 5ver, which stands for five-star drivers, saying it was his way of making the drivers, whom he calls transporters, proud of their business.

The 5ver Android app was officially launched on Aug 7 and so far, 100 drivers in and around Kota Kinabalu are using it.

“There are 500,000 people working and living in Kota Kinabalu and we want at least 10% of that market.

“We are very confident that we will reach the target within the next three to six months simply because this is a niche market.

“We have no intention of competing with Uber or Grab. They transport passengers, we transport goods.

“It can be documents, parcels, food, groceries, whatever.

“Unlike in the movie, we don’t have a ‘never open the package’ rule. If the package looks suspicious, our drivers have every right to take a peek,” he added.

He expects the service to be useful for law firms, clinics and even students moving from one campus to another.

In its current beta phase, the service offers free rides within Kota Kinabalu city. The iOS version will be launched in two weeks’ time.

Charges are based on the distance and size of the vehicle ordered.

In terms of safety, Anuar said 5ver will tie up with local insurance companies to guarantee that all goods are delivered and that customers are compensated if the goods are lost.

“I do not foresee facing the same problems as Uber or Grab because we are not carrying passengers.

“However, we will work with the relevant authorities to ensure we won’t face any legal problems,” he said.

Although his business operates only in Kota Kinabalu for now, Annuar hopes the app will eventually be used throughout Sabah and even in Peninsular Malaysia.


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