Digital Technologies Are Revolutionizing Trucking Business In India
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By: Manish Shewaramani

Digital Technologies Are Revolutionizing Trucking Business In India

India’s expanding consumer space, increased digital connectivity, infrastructural changes and improvements in government regulations have attracted everyone from Walmart and Ikea to Amazon and Alibaba.

According to Largest.org, India holds the second-largest position in the world when it comes to the road network with 3,481,725 miles. It is India’s fastest growing infrastructure sector with 5.9% CAGR. As per the National Highways Authority of India, about 65% of freight and 80% passenger traffic is carried by the roads.

And trucks are the inseparable part of the freight, aren’t they? Let’s have the glimpses of the truck business in India.

The Future of Truck Industry in India

Future of Truck Industry in India

As per a TechSci research report, the Indian truck market stood at $8 billion in 2017 and it is expected to grow till $16 billion in 2023 due to increasing infrastructure and construction development projects.

major players of the Indian trucking industry

According to Statista, by 2026, TATA, Hinduja Group, Volvo Eicher, Daimler are expected to be the major players of the Indian trucking industry.

If we consider startups in the Indian trucking industry, then they are driven by VC funding which needless to say, is not always easy to get. Insufficient funds, low scale, and lower margins gradually make operations unsustainable. Startups like Truckmandi, Zippon, and others are examples of businesses that have failed to survive the competition.

This means that traditional players with goodwill, larger market share and considerable cash piles have a better opportunity to leverage technology. Software Advice gives a comprehensive list of companies offering ready to use transportation management system software.

However, it’s a humongous task to shortlist a perfect commercial-off-the-shelf-solution (COTS). It could be much easier for trucking businesses to hire a software consulting and development partner to get solutions developed as per their needs.

Challenges of Truck Business in India

Though it is one of the fastest-growing industries, the Indian trucking business facing a lot of issues related to inefficiencies, corruption, accidents and poor service levels.

  • The entire business runs mostly on trust, as most companies provide pathetic shipment tracking facility to customers.
  • Owners with just 1-5 trucks together account for three-fourth of the total number of trucks in India. It results in poor service quality as many players are competing only at the price point. The cutthroat competition eventually affects underpaid (at times underskilled) drivers, who are put under long shifts and demanding delivery schedules.
  • The driving conditions offer little help as Indian highways aren’t safe for driving in the world. As a result, even those who don’t have any employment rarely consider hauling a freight carrier as a job option.
  • The truck drivers get less pay than the cab drivers of Uber. According to a Business Today report, cab drivers are earning thrice as much as their counterparts engaged in the Trucking business.
  • The shortage of truck drivers has compounded every year. According to an official estimate, every day some 2.3 million vehicles (27% of total transport vehicles) remain idle because no one is ready to drive them. If the shortage continues its uptrend, it will reach an unprecedented 50 percent by 2022. At present, all this translates into an estimated annual economic loss of around Rs 4,20,000.

However, things are undergoing a massive change with investors backing technology-driven startups.

5 Best Technology Startups to Empower the Trucking Business in India

#1. Rivigo

Business Model Highlights

Driver Relay: Changing drivers every few hundred kilometers to allow them to return to their homes within 24 hrs

Technology Highlights

  • GPS-enabled freight management
  • IoT integration for real-time data collection of fuel, RPM, engine oil temperature, brake oil pressure
  • Data analytics for predictive maintenance and mileage improvement
  • Anti-collision (under development)

#2. BlackBuck

Business Model Highlights

Full Truck Load (FTL) Intercity Marketplace: it’s an Uber-like platform connecting Truckers and customers. The platform streamlines transactions using intelligent auction engines and smartphones.

Technology Highlights

  • Intelligent Auction Engine
  • GPS-enabled freight management
  • Track and trace facility for customers
  • Mobile app supporting six regional languages

#3. The Porter

Business Model Highlights

Uber-like Marketplace for Intra-city pickups and deliveries (operates light trucks)

Technology Highlights

  • GPS-enabled freight management
  • Track and trace facility for customers
  • Transparent Pricing
  • Offers APIs to SMEs

#4. Truckola

Business Model Highlights

FTL Cargo Service for long-distance interstate routes with Web and Mobile Apps for higher efficiency and transparency

Technology Highlights

  • Data and predictive analytics to enable companies with better supply-demand visibility, lower freight costs, and higher utilization of vehicles
  • GPS-enabled freight management
  • Track and trace facility for customers

#5. 4TiGo

Business Model & Technology Highlights

Technology – Cloud-based B2B marketplace for connecting consignors, consignees, fleet owners, transport companies and agencies
Operations – Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) provides secure parking, overnight stay, breakdown assistance, repair & maintenance via its 800 Networked Retail Outlets
Payments – Federal Bank to implement a B2B electronic payment platform

All these, (and nearly a dozen more) startups are using a mix of technologies to bring some sanity to the unorganized trucking businesses in India.

Top 5 Tech Trends in Indian Trucking Industry

  • Google Positioning System (GPS): GPS-based transportation management systems (vendor management, rate comparison, scheduling and tracking, analytics)
  • Data Analytics: Analytics for demand and supply mapping (dynamic scheduling based on capacity, availability, distance and idle time)
  • Automation: Mobile and web apps (registration, ordering, LIVE tracking, deviation alerts, delivery time estimations, invoicing, payments)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • IoT (safety and maintenance)

It is evident that the trucking and logistics space in India is attracting new entrants operating on truck aggregation and marketplace models. The technologies mentioned above are helping them create differentiation with better efficiency and management capabilities. At the other end of the spectrum, things are also likely to get better for truck drivers.

While trucking businesses can harness technology to improve overall efficiencies, the logistics infrastructure at present is pushing them to their limits. There is a need to increase the share of Railways and Waterways to create a balanced modal network that can meet the demand in the future.

Credencys Solutions Inc. is a leading software development services and solutions provider which has helped numerous businesses such as Cargoji in their business growth. We can help you with building a custom fleet management solution. Know more about our services, please connect with an expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to build a trucking app?

The cost of a trucking app relies on the features you want to consider for your app. However, roughly a simple trucking app development with basic features costs you around $15000 -$20000 while if you want to build a mobile application with advanced functionality then it can cost you more than $50000.

How long does it take to develop a trucking app?

The development time of a trucking app is based on the features and functionality you want to integrate into the app. The more features you want to add the app development will take more time. A simple app can be developed within 5-6months. While an app with all the advanced features takes up to 11 months.

How do trucking apps make money?

To monetize your trucking app, you can charge registration fees from truck owners or truck drivers, retailers, movers and packers agencies, etc. Also, you can charge them for each ride they book.

How do trucking apps work?

Trucking app will be a platform that connects truck owners can truck drivers with the retailers, mover & packers, courier agencies, etc. The business can book trucks along with From and To location details as well as the date and time for transportation. Truck owners/drivers can confirm or reject the fleet. Moreover, the businesses that want to consume the truck services can pay online to the owners and drivers through the app.



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