Michael Ellis, the CEO of Pintec, has a truck-style delivery system for supplies and dry goods.
After his forklift knocked over a delivery truck carrying a new espresso machine in 2010, Ellis—the CEO and co-founder of Pintec—decided to explore alternative delivery systems integrasi sistem logistik. While he couldn’t find one that was truly efficient and reliable, he did make an interesting discovery. In Germany, where Ellis was raised, this kind of delivery system is used for almost everything.
“They go to the store, they pick up the box, and the store delivers it to the customer and sends back the empty box to make sure it gets back to the store and gets emptied,” Ellis says. Ellis now uses that kind of delivery system for dry goods such as cereal and coffee.
So in 2011, Ellis started a logistics company that would drop off bulk food products, such as cereal and cereal bars, to restaurants. The food, picked up from supermarkets in New York City and Washington, D.C., would be sent back to Washington by truck, where it would be packaged and loaded onto trucks for delivery to restaurants.
The company’s main challenge was dealing with bureaucracy. Ellis says that, in the U.S., most businesses don’t have to deal with a thousand different delivery systems to get their goods.
“Every business was somewhat unique. Most businesses were either one-off businesses, they’d deliver to your kitchen, or the business had a central warehouse that they delivered to,” Ellis says.
After experiencing one million deliveries over five years, Ellis found the current system to be inefficient and unreliable. “I decided there was a better way,” he says.
Today, Pintec is a multimillion-dollar business and has delivered more than 2 billion food products. In 2015 alone, the company delivered more than 150 million meals—with almost none of them using trucks. Instead, Pintec uses a fleet of 20 semis and a fleet of 40 trucks for its deliveries, which is much more efficient.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunity in developing this infrastructure and creating a trucking infrastructure that doesn’t just exist now, but that’s useful and practical,” Ellis says.
These days, restaurants can set their own prices for Pintec’s services. A menu from Bong’s Chinese Restaurant shows how much a meal would cost using Pintec.
Ellis now wants to start a restaurant franchise called Tiny Suppers. The restaurant would essentially offer exactly what the title suggests: smaller menus of the kinds of meals one can find on a truck, but at a restaurant. That means that owners would get a deal, as well as a delivery service.
“There’s no delivery for fresh food in New York, unless it’s free,” Ellis says.
Using a trucking company like Pintec means you’d still get a certain number of deliveries each day, with a delivery time around an hour. The logistics company would then deliver those products to restaurants.
The company hasn’t started building its infrastructure for that business yet, but Ellis says it’s not hard to imagine one being done. “Indonesia has so many truck drivers,” he says. “For the truck drivers, it’s very practical. It’s just that there aren’t enough restaurants. That’s the opportunity.”
More From ITS:
**This story was originally published in the November 2016 issue of ITS.**
Michael Ellis, the CEO and cofounder of Pintec.
As part of ITS’s effort to reveal how people live around the world, we’ve teamed up with Pintec to explore different ways of delivering food. We’ve also been collecting the stories of people who use this kind of food delivery, such as this first-person account from Graham Harris, the founder of Tiny Suppers.