DIMO’s Pick My Load (PML) has entered into a partnership with the Australian Government’s Business Partnerships Platform (BPP) to expand the PML platform to key provinces in Sri Lanka supporting COVID-19 recovery.
PML was selected as partner from the BPP Call for Partnerships out of a pool of over 360 applicants from the ICT, agriculture technology and fisheries, online education and education technology, and financial inclusion sectors.
The initiative expects to de-risk the expansion of PML into rural and semi-urban provinces outside Western Province. Through the partnership, PML will get drivers on board 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.
This partnership also aims to recognize 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.
Commenting on the partnership, Mr. Ranjith Pandithage (Chairman and Managing Director of DIMO) said “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”.
With this partnership PML will be able to grow its human-centred design process, conducting awareness and on boarding campaigns for drivers and SMEs, partnering with leasing companies and providing training to drivers on how to use the platform. The Australian Government will contribute catalytic funding and 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.
Pick My Load connects small, independent commercial vehicle operators with corporates and small businesses to transport heavy goods across Sri Lanka.