Organised Trucking: The Renaissance of India’s Surface Logistics

organised trucking

The trucking industry- considered to be the backbone of India’s economy- has been battered by the imposed lockdowns at the onset of the pandemic in India. However, as things now head to a new normal and it picks up from where it had left from, we unravel how Organised Trucking can put together the pieces of a fragmented industry by augmenting performance and visibility through tech-infusion and bolster its credibility in the days to come.

The onset of digital platforms has brought about a tectonic change in the way one looks at system operations and supply chain visibility. Technological innovation and changing customer behaviour have been the prime areas of concern for every industry. Getting technologically connected to give users what they desire, be it – reliability, effective cost, tracking etc is an achievement that companies aspire and is also a result that organised trucking strives to bring about.

Transport and trucking companies are the lifelines of small and big businesses. The trucking businesses are responsible for the success or failures of all industries that need regular inbound goods for smooth  operations.

As trucking services pace up to suit the rising needs of the various businesses of the nation, it is critically important to consider how Organised trucking can bring about a paradigm shift in the entire working process.

Organised Trucking

Traditionally, customers who were on the lookout for moving goods either had their own captive fleet at hand or had to resort to depending on the unorganised players to move their goods.

Working with unorganised players and truck owners would result in challenges galore, be it minimum or no visibility, dearth of data insights and cost transparency. It would seldom provide information on the location, position and overall whereabouts of the vehicles as well as the cargo in the value chain.

In contrast to this, Organised Logistics comes as an obvious recourse to these technical problems, with its ability to address pertinent challenges by formulating a solution infusing technology, data analytics and improved customer experience. Increased supply chain visibility and transparency regarding the availability of the vehicles also come up as an added boon to a customer community that has historically relied upon unorganised players and put up with its disadvantages.

With predictive analytics taking efficiency up a notch higher, Organised Trucking significantly aspires to make visibility a prime focus area and achieving it, while optimally utilising resources to deliver the best cost-saving options to the customers.

Reshaping the Organised Trucking Segment

Organised Trucking has gained traction and importance in the past few years, with companies and people understanding the importance of coming together in a stable platform and reaping the many benefits of technology.

How have leading companies managed to reshape the Organised Trucking segment in the last few years? We reached out to two leading names to know of their opinions.

“Fortigo has been empowering the Indian goods transportation industry ecosystem through technology and the power of networking in the last few years”, shares Anjani Mandal, CEO, Fortigo Logistics.

“Fortigo has streamlined all logistical processes by allowing its stakeholders to interact, transact and manage the entire goods transportation lifecycle and business on a single platform thereby enabling a quantum leap in Productivity, Efficiency, Customer Service and as a result organizing an unorganised sector.”

~Anjani Mandal, CEO, Fortigo Logistics

Blowhorn has on the other hand, tried to address the need of a common platform for holding together the fragmented market of mini trucks.

“At Blowhorn, we quickly realised that the key challenge was not the lack of supply of truck driver, but rather the absence of a common platform that would bring together the fragmented market of mini trucks.”

~Nikhil Suresh, Director, Operations at Blowhorn

Facilitating transparent freight procurement

Freight procurement is a critical and a competitive factor in determining the value of the supply chain.

A robust procurement management system in place helps an organisation save money spent when purchasing goods and services from outside. Producing raw material is not as challenging as moving goods from one place to another, as the latter involves plenty of challenges in the goods movement process.

Presently, there are various shipping companies and third-party logistics (3PL) providers available that offer opportunities to build strategies specific to each carrier type, mode, capacity and service.

Addressing Challenges in Freight Procurement

While talking about the challenges that lie in freight procurement, it is noteworthy to mention that Procurement leaders are confronted with the pressure of creating credibility in their company. Therefore, equipping procurement to drive into other functional parts requires guidance and support.

In addition to this, being demand driven and optimally utilising technology to the fullest remains a clarion call of the industry, with respect to achieving a better procurement experience.

A meaningful level of savings should be aimed at and achieved, as with the outcome of any agreement.

Challenges en route

As promising do the benefits of organised trucking seem, there lie hurdles on the way when it comes to bringing offline operations of trucks to online.

For the industry and companies that have primarily driven its operations based on the traditional model, the transition from offline to online may not always be free from obstructions. Added operational costs may also be a factor that deters fleet owners and companies from investing time and money into it, in addition to transparency of information not being a positive reinforcement for many.

Mr Suresh sheds more light on this.

“India is the second (only to China) fastest growing market for digital consumers with more than 635 million internet subscribers (as per a statisa report in 2019). In addition, the cheap availability of mobile data and budget smartphones has brought the Indian truck driver community online. Also, business owners have realized that supply chain can be a key differentiator. They are more willing than ever to invest in digitisation and have begun to see the value logistics companies can bring to their business as partners. With 2.8 Billion USD investment in the logistics in 2018, there is every reason to think that there is huge potential in this space in India”, Mr Suresh shares.

While acknowledging the hesitation that many have in transitioning from offline to online, he asserts how it is not much of an option as much as it is a necessity.

“At Blowhorn, we think the only challenge to this juggernaut could be the ability of traditional players to adapt to latest solutions and strategies. However, if they have to survive, they will have to.”

This is an abridged version of the article. To read the full article, click here.

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