The Indian trucking industry is currently valued at $130 Bn and there are approximately 5.6 Mn on road vehicles transporting 80% of the country’s freight. But is still cudgeling brains over petty issues like lack of drivers, information about new areas, return loads and on-time deliveries & availability of transporters. This is the present state of Indian trucking industry – highly unorganized and highly fragmented.
In order to address these gaps, Amit Punaini and Ishu Bansal came forward with their B2B portal TruckSuvidha in September last year. The startup is based in Yamuna Nagar, Haryana. The main idea is to bridge the gap between the customer, transporter and other related entities, thereby helping the logistics industry meet the required demand-supply ratio, by bringing all the key players on a single common platform.
The founders believe that despite of having 4.7% contribution to country’s GDP, the logistics industry is still not able to give its due share. The problem lies in the existing system where there is a lack of information amid the users. “85% of the logistics industry is working on outsourcing – whether it’s Gati, Bluedart or Apollo logistics. “Maximum trucks associated with them are not their own and are owned by single fleet owners,” said Ishu. “Its all about the association model and our aim is to overhaul this sector with the available resources and technology, to set an example for other industries by being the most organized sectors in the world,” added Amit.
So What’s New Here!
Customers can post and search for loads and trucks on the website and at the same time can track and receive requests for the same. The service can be utilized by transporters, truck drivers, packer and movers and even people who are looking for intercity or interstate shifting of their household goods.
Apart from online truck bookings, the portal provides registered customers with three unique features to address current problems.
- Distance Calculator – Feed in the origin of the journey with destination and it will give you the most optimum route for the journey with an information of tolls on road. This helps drivers in optimize their journeys and get more deliveries in a single day.
- Load Board – It keeps a track of all the loads on TruckSuvidha be it posted by a transporter or customer.
- Truck Board – It keeps a track of all the available trucks for customer to view.
Customers can select trucks based on their requirements. This helps logistics heads, transportes, delivery heads etc., manage movement of the vehicle and material loads efficiently, at the same time allowing truck drivers to get return loads on the trip and earn some extra pennies.
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“We target the key vulnerabilities of this sector. Our exhaustive database provides you with real time information on not only the forward journey but return journey as well. The unique subscription model at affordable prices makes job easier for both the transporters and customers as only relevant information is shared with the apt party to make operation easy and swift,” said Amit.
The founders also run a full time call center which caters to doubts and concerns pertaining to TruckSuvidha and in general issues related to the transportation industry.
A Quick Insight Into The Indian Trucking Industry
- As per ICRA report, the Medium & Heavy Commercial Vehicle (M&HCV) Truck segment posted a positive growth of 19.0% in 10m FY 2015.
- The HCV (16T+) segment accounted for almost half of total M&HCV (Truck) sales and witnessed strong demand (up 42.6% in 10m FY 2015).
- The LCV Truck segment experienced sluggish trends (down 13.8% YoY) due to constrained financing environment.
- Fleet utilization levels are gradually improving on back of higher load availability from some of the key freight generating sectors such as Automobiles, Cement and other general industries.
- In ICRA’s view, the M&HCV (Truck) segment is likely to register a growth of 12-14% in FY 2016 while demand for LCV’s will grow at CAGR (%) 11-13% over the longer-term.
- The key factors driving this growth are continuing trend towards replacement of ageing fleet and expectations of pick-up in demand from infrastructure and industrial sectors in view of reforms being initiated by the Government.
As Ishu said, “The share of road transport is bound to grow in the upcoming years with 8.4% for 2012.The total good vehicles amount to 76.6 lakh making close to 700 Mn trips in India. Out of these TruckSuvidha is planning for 70 Mn trips. Now you can imagine with our current capacity we cater to; only 10% of the entire market.”
Monetization, Traction And Plans Ahead
Search features are available to all for free while registered users can view the load/post truck details on the portal. People can choose amongst the 3 packages offered with different incentives in a price range of INR 8400-INR 16, 800 yearly. This helps them get updates and information at regular intervals, keeping in mind the transporters capacity to cater to customers. Another unique offering is the web profiling model, creating user’s entire profile with ratings and customer feedback, thereby help in managing client’s digital footprint.
At present, TruckSuvidha Network covers around 632 locations all over India including states such as Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Assam and more. The portal gets around 100-120 posts daily and provides availability of different kinds of heavy commercial vehicles with clients like Ambuja Cement, Jindal Steel, Agarwal packers and movers, etc. As listed on the website, they have total 3871 registered customers, 23232 transporters and 1532 movers and packers.
As of now the initiative is self funded. The founders aim is to increase their operations base and move to different locations all across India. “We require an influx of funds as our business plans predicts an exponential growth and lot of opportunities in future. Any vehicle you find transporting goods from one place to another is our target. The plan is to bring this entire industry online and make moving goods as easy as eating pie,” said Amit.
Competition and Challenges
TruckMandi.in, Moovo, TheKarrier, ThePorter, Blowhorn, etc. are few of the existing prominent players in this space. While TruckMandi is incubated at TLabs, TheKarrier recently secured approx. USD 230K (INR 1.5 crore) from Sol Primero, Outbox Ventures and others. Trucksfirst, on the other hand, raised $ 9.3 Mn (INR 61 crore) from SAIF Partners in April this year while ReturnTrucks got INR 2.5 Lakh funding from EDI Ahmedabad in May.
The TruckSuvidha founders accept competition, however, they also believe that their services and subscriptions are unique from other players. “These websites have a sizeable cut in each and every deal, on the other hand we offer services at easy affordable prices. We plan to introduce more such facilities over a period of time which not only proves helpful for the customers but the industry as a whole,” said Amit.
As per the founders, convincing people on how technology can help them and getting truck drivers educated of their rights is the biggest challenge ahead. “Making people accept change in an industry which has not seen used technology since its inception is difficult. We plan to organize and modernize a technology crippled industry. The existing dogma needs to vanish and people need to be more aware of the things going around in the current world scenario,” said Ishu.
ShiftSure, Loadkhoj, Suainlogistics, Loadjunction, Thetruckingexckange, Uship, FreightBazaar, Lorryguru, ReturnTrucks and TrucksFirst are few others dealing in this space.