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A start-up that earned more during pandemic, thanks to its problem-solving approach

A mechanical engineer by training, Arham Pratap Jain got interested in the logistic sector thanks to his exposure in the sector through his family business which dealt in chemicals and fuel.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
May 4, 2022 5:41:51 pm
Trucknetic founder Arham Pratap Jain. (Express/Sourced)

When in 2019 Arham Pratap Jain, the founder and chief trucking officer of Trucknetic, started his technology-first company in the logistics sector, he had not factored in the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects. But when the pandemic with its disruptions became a reality in 2020, Jain’s start-up was more than ready to adjust to the new normal. Jain, in his conversation with The Indian Express, said his company saw more growth during the pandemic period than before.

A mechanical engineer by training, Jain got interested in the logistic sector thanks to his exposure in the sector through his family business which dealt in chemicals and fuel. Logistics has been an integral part of the business but Jain realised a basic flaw in the way truckers run their business. Absence of return load forces many truckers to lose on business. Trucknetic, Jain said, aims to solve this problem using Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) which would make the logistic sector solve one of its long-standing problems.

Return load, Jain explained, is the business or load which trucks seek to prevent returning empty from their destination to their point of origin. Thus, for a truck which operates between Delhi to Mumbai, chances of returning empty from Mumbai to Delhi are high given lack of business or exposure in the destination city.

The business of logistics in India, Jain said, is extremely unorganised with various layers between truck owners and the end customers Thus, fleet owners approach middlemen or transporters to get business. “The problem is complex during return for the fleet owners as they have to approach brokers to arrange for return load. Due to the opaqueness of the sector, clear communication between the end users is absent. An average fleet owner has three or less truckers. With the problem of return load being estimated to be $45 billion,” said Jain.

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Jain’s solution is akin to a platform where fleet owners and transporters share the space with end consumers, who, he said, “float their business which is then picked up by the fleet owners”.

“As simple as it sounds, the platform has seen a lot of technology to solve the problem. There is a search listing which is free,” he said. This search listing shows the available business.

The platform allows one to find a return load within 30 minutes of search. Trucknetics’s android app has features and various services which help weave in layers of security in the system. “The KYC process allows end users to get into a paid platform which would allow one to book a service. The system allows for detailed tracking of a truck and a detailed delivery report is generated and sent on WhatsApp once the delivery is done. For carriers, the system throws out options which can be booked based on possibility of return load. The problem of empty load is solved using the technology we developed,” said Jain.

Till date, the company has clocked 3-4 billion kilometre in end-to-end business. The platform has 120 MSMEs and carried over 1,00,000 tonne of load. At present, the company is bootstrapped with the company aiming to close a series A deal of $10 million soon.

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