Carpool featured in the Atlanta Business Chronicle

Carpool Logistics CEO, Michael Malakhov, sat down with Tech and Innovation Reporter Zach Armstrong to discuss the future of vehicle shipping. Check out the full article below!

As more people buy cars online, Atlanta Tech Village startup bundles vehicle shipments

The market for automotive logistics is too fragmented, says Carpool Logistics CEO and founder Michael Malakhov.

It is saturated with small businesses that ship less than five cars to auctions and dealerships, all while the industry lacks the technology to optimize transactions for both parties.

Malakhov’s startup, an automotive logistics company based at the Atlanta Tech Village, is providing a platform that cuts costs and emissions of shipping vehicles to their destinations by bundling them.

“When you think of the automotive industry, it’s extremely inefficient when you’re shipping one or two cars with an empty space on a trailer, there are constantly excessive emissions and extra costs,” said Malakhov.

Carpool Logistics’ growth opportunity
By connecting vehicle shippers with auto haulers with available space on their trucks, Carpool Logistics could provide clients between 10% to 15% in savings, Malakhov said.

The company has over 50 auctions and dealership customers and 16 employees. It looks to double both its customer base and staff by the end of the year. Hires will focus on software development and sales to improve its platform and reach more customers, Malakhov said.

The car shipping industry is currently valued at $13 billion, said Malakhov. He believes Carpool Logistics can get a large market share considering the increasing demand for e-commerce. More people are buying vehicles online, and more dealerships are starting to offer platforms to accommodate that trend.

“Automotive is changing more in the next five years than it has in the last 50,” said Malakhov. “E-commerce is growing, and electric vehicles are about to take over the industry. Digital transactions are growing, and the geographical barriers are breaking down, which will require more shipping.”

To date, the company has been bootstrapped with $300,000 from Malakhov and his co-founders’ own money. Now, Malakhov is planning a seed round of $2 million by the end of the year.

Atlanta headquarters
The company was launched in May 2021 at the Atlanta Tech Village. While there, Malakhov met two of his other co-founders, and the company’s office footprint continued to expand. The company plans to remain at the ATV thanks to how accommodating the location has been.

Being in Atlanta is something Malakhov also views as an asset, since Carpool Logistics is at the crossroads of both the logistics industry and the automotive industry.

Atlanta is seen as a growing hub for supply chain innovation due to its legacy as a physical distribution hub and burgeoning tech ecosystem. The state of Georgia is also growing its automotive manufacturing industry. Hyundai Motor Corp. and Rivian Automotive Inc. plan to build massive electric vehicle manufacturing plants that will employ thousands of people.

“There’s a great talent pool from a supply chain perspective and a growing tech ecosystem,” said Malakhov. “There are more VCs who are attracted to the Southeast and want to look at companies, so the support ecosystem really has been amazing.”

A background in supply chain
Prior to launching Carpool Logistics, Malakhov had a career in the supply chain industry for nearly 20 years having various kinds of leadership roles.

For 16 years, he worked as a sales associate up to a Regional General Manager at the logistics platform C.H. Robinson. He then worked as executive vice president from 2016 to 2018 at the automotive logistics as a service platform ACERTUS.

His professional experience gave Malakhov the lightbulb moment to build out what would become Carpool Logistics. The idea was to build out a network of consolidation where multiple vehicles are bundled and then built into loads to then be shipped out to clients.

Check out the original article here.

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