Corporate Review

Trucknetic: leading the transformation in India’s digitized freight forwarding space

Trucknetic: leading the transformation in India’s digitized freight forwarding space

Undoubtedly, freight forwarders are the head honcho of the logistics and supply chains industry. When the term ‘digitization of logistics sector’ became headline news- a catalyst of change paving ways to automate and reconstruct the familiar processes.

The sector was pushed ahead on its journey of digitization. Entrepreneurs started conceptualizing to create amazons and ubers of freight forwarding space.

Freight forwarding has traveled a long way – from keeping manual records and fax machines to providing instant quotations and real-time updates.

However, the ‘big cheese’ of the freight forwarding space is still calculating about wearing the digital avatar. The transportation industry still stands as a low-tech, fragmented, and labor-intensive space.

The digital momentum of the logistics industry gets sleepy with transportation. While the overall impression remains unclear, the footsteps of transformation could be felt.

New startups and entrepreneurs are updating the musty processes of the freight forwarders with automation and associated new-age technologies.

Young companies carrying the potential to disrupt are transforming almost every area- from sales to cargo handling, transportation and tracking to last-mile delivery and billing.

These startups are making things possible in the logistics space that once seemed impossible.

The above lines bring us to the journey of Trucknetic and his young leader, Arham Partap Jain who has kept innovation at the heart of his entrepreneurship.

Via his entrepreneurial venture, Arham is helping logistics companies leverage technological breakthroughs to transform their supply chain and operational flows to meet growing consumer demand.

Founded in 2019, Trucknetic is a technology platform that connects shippers with carriers and establishes a marketplace that is a central portal for both front loads and backloads by using machine learning, automation, and other software services.

Putting more stars to its sky, Trucknetic has proven its mettle in a highly competitive industry. Just within two years of its journey, Trucknetic has been acknowledged and appreciated globally. Here is the glimpse:

  • Selected among Top 80 Startups in India for Startup Leadership Program
  • Selected under Top 40 startups in TIE Venture Studio first cohort
  • Counted among Top 10 logistics companies in the world for the year 2021
  • Selected in Top 10% startups by Y Combinator W’21
  • Arham was awarded as Entrepreneur Of the Year award for Trucknetic in Indian Achievers’ Association

After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer, Arham joined his family business involved in trading in 2018. And that’s where the foundation of Trucknetic was laid.

A social entrepreneur turned investment banker, Arham has been selected for prestigious fellowships such as Indo-German YLF. Indo-Swiss FLF, IDEX Global, World Merit, ALS (University of Chicago).

Furthermore, he has done the Entrepreneurship program- leading change through innovation from Stanford University.

An active member of Young Indian (CII) and TIE Delhi, Arham also chairs as the Managing Director of Apeejay Overseas.

Here, we share his story; how Trucknetic is challenging the status quo in the logistics industry; and the roadmap towards the future.

Hi Arham, could you please give us a summary of what has been your journey in entrepreneurship with Trucknetic?

I come from a business family where my father is the first generation entrepreneur who has set up a trading business 35 years ago.

He started with chemicals then moved to different fuels and then other commodities. Trucking is an integrated service in trading.

I joined the family business in early 2018 and soon encountered a lot of challenges around trucking where we were working on a model of using our trucks and outsourcing it from the market.

Following a conversation with my dad and his team, we unearthed other problems as well. Further, I discussed the burgeoning challenges with other stakeholders involved around trucking such as fleet owners, transporters, brokers, shippers, end-customers, etc.

Also, on the personal front, being in the trading industry, we faced issues related to road transportation.

For carriers (fleet owners) the single most challenge that they wanted to get rid of was the unavailability of return-load (backhaul) and for shippers, it was the unavailability of trucks for a particular lane at a particular time.

That’s how I conceptualized Trucknetic. Today we are addressing both of these challenges while reducing the carbon footprint and bringing down the cost of logistics.

Today, we enjoy domain expertise not only among carriers or shippers but also among other stakeholders involved in the supply chain as well.

I can conclude that we have so far donned all the hats in our family business, as and when required. Our personal experience being both carriers and shippers has shaped the journey of Trucknetic very well.

What is the company’s current outreach across the domestic market?

The company has posted a turnover of ~USD 2.2 Mn since Dec’19 with ~USD 150,000 being the monthly recurring revenue.

We have been associated with more than 150 odd carriers (fleet owners and transporters) and more than 40 shippers (corporates, small-medium enterprises, and traders).

And We have done close to ~1500 trips to date with 11. 82,000 km of movement and transported 60,000 MT of different commodities.

Moving ahead, we have cumulated a verified database of 50,000+ fleet owners which we will be registering on our application by the end of the year.

We also have a potential monthly order book of the north of 50,000 MT, which we will be able to achieve from Mar’22.

Name a few corporate clients associated with you.

We have been working with Patanjali, RIL, Ajanta Soya, Gulshan Chemical, HPL Ltd, Merino Laminates, and many more.

How your company leverages the power of modern technology to help customers?

Our AI-enabled platform offers freedom of choice regarding the marketplace and the security & convenience of a digital freight forwarder.

The solution comes as a cost-effective package for shippers and increases earnings for the fleet owners by reducing the wastage of miles without freight And adding to the asset utilization of trucks, thus reducing the carbon footprint in the country which ultimately brings down the cost of logistics substantially.

Also Read: Zenexpress Logistics Pvt. Ltd.

How do you see the global logistics market shaping up in few years down the line?

The global logistics market is on a paradigm shift as of now. The transition has started already towards aggregation, standardization, and digitization.

In a few years, we can start seeing semi-autonomous and autonomous trucks on roads. The sector is now ready for disruption and with it, a lot of companies will come.

Are they any crucial areas you are currently looking at to further expand the company’s offerings?

We are looking out to solve the problem of return load. In India, the transportation market is highly unorganized and fragmented. 95% of the fleet owners own less than 3 trucks. Working with the traditional approach, these fleet owners choose their base near supply-heavy areas and place vehicles in the clusters nearby their hometown. Thus restricting them to cover remaining lanes and creating a huge gap in demand and supply. On the lanes they go, they have to take massive fare cuts on the freights, although they incur the same expenses on diesel, driver and other overheads and most of the time they have to wait for a day/ two to figure out any return load which under-utilizes their truck. Therefore, until and unless one caters to this problem it is very difficult to make a viable aggregation platform for shippers and carriers.

What are you proud of achieving in your career and what’s next?

I am proud of the fact that we were able to start Trucknetic at the right time and having a first-mover advantage to organize the logistics industry.

Further, we were able to reduce the wastage of miles without freight and increasing the asset utilization of trucks,

And reducing the carbon footprint in the country which will ultimately bring down the cost of logistics substantially.

What piece of advice do you want to share with the aspiring leaders of tomorrow?

Never give up. Perseverance and resilience are the most important skills when it comes to business or life in general.

There is no right time to do what you want to – jump into it with full enthusiasm and motivation and you will see things will start falling in place.

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