The Indian logistics sector has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. The rise in per capita income, arrival of e-commerce, and economic liberalization have ushered in an era of consumerism. This rising demand has benefited the logistics sector which is currently valued at $250 billion and growing at a 10-12 percent CAGR.
However, with globalization and digital commerce, a growing need is being felt to address existing logistics-related challenges. There is a need to ensure end-to-end visibility, transparency of services, a single point of control for the consumers, simplification of documentation and payments as well as building reliability and resilience in the supply chains. Traditionally, trucking in India has been an offline sector that has been held back by these factors due to the unorganized sector’s dominance.
Lack of Technology in Unorganized Logistics Operations
One of the major hurdles faced by the Indian logistics sector has been the negligible use of technology. However, as the pandemic highlighted, ‘business as usual’ was no longer going to work in the offline mode. As markets shut and business operations took a hit, e-commerce and contactless logistics services grew tremendously. By eliminating the reliance on in-person engagements, digital technology enabled truckers to achieve the kind of agility and resilience that helped them overcome the challenges.
Growth of E-Commerce
The surge in e-commerce transactions also significantly enhanced the demand for the integration of end-to-end logistics. Customers have become quality conscious and demanding. They want quick deliveries with complete visibility of their orders at all times. The larger online marketplaces have invested heavily in captive logistics infrastructure or partnered with large firms to manage their supply chains. However, the smaller platforms, D2C brands, and conventional retailers now need to achieve similar service benchmarks and efficiencies, even from small operators.
Having complete visibility and control over their supply chains has become essential for ensuring customer satisfaction, retention, and business growth. This is where 24/7 online logistics services are necessary to prevent loss of goodwill and business opportunities. Since smaller trucking companies and driver-owners are not capable of building the required technology infrastructure on their own, they need to find solutions that enable them to make digital transition affordably. That’s where online logistics marketplaces are set to become a major force.
The existing offline logistics system is complex and manual labor heavy. There is no transparency or consistency of freight pricing or shipment schedules, and one has to frequently call up transporters to find out about the location of a shipment, and even booking a load is a major challenge at times. On the other hand, using an online logistics marketplace enables even the smaller operators to achieve operational capabilities that are not possible offline. For instance, they can showcase their availability to a large number of shippers across India without having to call anyone. The transporters also don’t have to waste precious time searching for the right vehicle load match. By using online logistics services, it is possible for supply chain professionals to better plan and execute their freight movements in a competitively priced and swift manner.
Let’s Take a Look at Key Benefits of Online Logistics for Both Parties:
- Online booking facility from anywhere to anywhere
- Ease of finding multiple reliable and verified transporters
- Efficiency of pricing
- Ability to monitor shipments in real-time
- Online rate comparison between different vendors
- Multiple payment options
- Greater safety of the cargo and peace of mind
- Ease of booking loads without chasing agents and middlemen
- Ability to book return load and save time
- Optimization of vehicle space by smart AI-driven vehicle load matching
- Easy and on-time payments immediately upon delivery of the cargo
- Pan India market access
- No need to pay a commission
- No need to spend on any kind of hardware or IT infrastructure
Leading online trucking platforms also offer various value-added services such as online doctor consultations and Escrow payments. As the online logistics ecosystem evolves, we are bound to see a lot of innovations and features that will benefit both truckers and shippers alike