Who is BlackBuck?
BlackBuck is India’s largest trucking platform. Founded in 2015, it aims to organise and simplify the trucking industry for both, shipper and trucker. The platform has been a pioneer in bringing the offline operations of trucking online.
The platform also aims to reshape the infrastructure around trucking to facilitate insurance, payments and financial services. With just one click, truckers can book a load and move at capacity. Along with this, shippers can book a truck of their choice, of any size, at the right time and at a right price.
By keeping the application minimal for the not so literate people, the app operates through Google maps. The drivers and truckers can accept work and navigate in a seamless manner. For the clients, they can install the similar app to make their respective bookings and BlackBuck matches the demand with available trucks and drivers in the area. Just like Uber, BlackBuck connects shippers with trucks.
Inefficiency Problems in India’s Truck System
India’s Trucking Industry is the most marginalised, unorganised and inefficient sector and is critical for the country’s economy. This problem is dragging India’s economy down as this contributes around 14.4% to India’s GDP. This sector is also the highest employment generator as 85% of the transportation community is constituted by small operators.
Being a major choke-point in the supply chain, the trucking industry functions on uncoordinated set-pieces causing all the inefficiencies and disparity in their operation. The reason behind this are:
- Highway and Roads conditions that can hardly be termed comfortable for driving. This causes delays and is also responsible for breakdowns of trucks and heavy loaded vehicles.
- The poor vehicle maintenance is another reason for the inefficiency in the trucking industry. In order to transport maximum freight with minimum costs, truck owners neglect the efficiency of their vehicles which in return cause miserable conditions.
- There’s no standardisation of remuneration as different transport companies’ offer diversified paychecks.
- Sometimes there’s problems with authority at several checkpoints. Drivers mostly being not very literate end up in a situation where they’re caught up in state laws and have to face delays.
BlackBuck matches the demand with available trucks and drivers in the area, just like Uber, it connects shippers with trucks.
BlackBucks Customer Base
The platform has more than four lakh partner trucks, operating pan India in 500 districts and 400 industrial hubs. Around 70% of BlackBuck’s 10,000 clients are corporation based and the rest are small and medium sized enterprises. The client base also includes big companies like Reliance, Coca-Cola, Asian Paints, Hindustan Unilever, TaTa, Vedanta, L&T and Jindal.
BlackBuck: Digitizing freight and logistics across India
Amidst the pandemic to kick start the movement of goods across the country and reviving the supply chain in pandemic, BlackBuck started with the Move India Initiative. This provides a digital logistics platform connecting businesses and shippers with truck owners for intercity logistics.
With 700,000 truckers and 1.2 million trucks connected with its platform in India, BlackBuck is the first logistics firm to turn a unicorn this year. In the pandemic when the government pushed digital adoption the platform too moved from replying upon call centers for bookings to an app-based system.
By providing FASTag offering, 35% of India’s trucking toll happens via BlackBuck. This is the proof that India’s logistics industry and supply chain is shifting from paper to digital. The startup is one of the handful of start-ups that is digitizing freight and logistics across India. It is bringing a transformation to the Indian trucking ecosystem by providing unique solutions for the truckers and also by streamlining the trucking sector.
Insights For Startups Under This Sector
BlackBuck aims at providing a smooth channel for truck owners and builds an ecosystem around trucking. By offering services like credit cards which can be used for tire repair, toll payments, fuel and insurance by truck owners and drivers, it eases up the hectic lifestyle in this sector. The startup is also aiming to partner with commercial banks and NBFCs to venture out of the vehicle financing segment.