Lynk Logistics expands to other cities
The Indian truck logistics industry is entering the digital zone like the cab aggregators. The Chennai-based Lynk Logistics with its digital solutions has begun an on-demand vehicle aggregator service with the small truck drivers and fleet owners. It is an intra-city last mile connectivity platform that connects individual and business customers with the logistics service provider, the small truck driver or owners, for the efficient and timely movement of goods.
“Lynk-like apps are a common thing in the developed countries like the US. In India this kind of apps are being introduced by a few companies. The hit ratio is yet not commendable due to a lot of reasons. We would like to substantiate the doability with this app. We began the ground work on this in 2015 and launched it commercially in June 2016 in Chennai to start with. We cover up to 60 km within the city. We have just started serving Hyderabad. By 2018 we want to expand to Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta and other major cities,” Abhinav Raj, Co-Founder, Lynk, told AutoComponentsIndia.
The company plans the optimal utilisation of the existing assets by bringing together the customers and the logistics providers. “The customers can get choices of trucks at reasonable rates, and the truck owners will get more business which was limited so far to 1 or 2 trips daily owing to restricted exploration possibilities. We are here to help them,” he said.
The app is designed and developed in such a way that even a first-time smart phone user can navigate through the
instructions easily. Through 30-minute training the drivers and other users can master the app. The penetration of smart phones has made the process hassle-free and the drivers are learning very fast. The company also has a hotline number through which the customers can book. The app is available in Google play store and it proves better and customers are responding obviously. The cost is shared as 85% to the drivers and 15% to Lynk.
The Lynk drivers are not accountable for loading and unloading of goods. However there is an option to hire a loader at the time of booking. Once the booking is done, tracking ID will be provided through which the customer can track the truck in real time. Cash and cashless payments options are given to the customers. They can go cashless through the Lynk money platform.
The company offers 3 categories of trucks: S, S+ and M. The S category has small trucks like Tata Ace with a capacity of 1 tonne. The S+ category has slightly bigger trucks like Ashok Leyland Dost and pick-ups, and the M category has a payload capacity of 3-4 tonne. Based on the value and the number of goods, the customers can opt for one of these choices.
“As of now our business model concentrates only on intra-city operations. Inter-city haul is a different market which is not our immediate priority. We advise the fleet owners not to bother about getting customers as the platform fetches them with more options. Instead they could concentrate on their core business. Standalone furniture companies, and pharmaceutical companies, among others, are our customers where 60% of their freight is carried by the market vehicles and not captive vehicles,” Shekhar Bhende, Co-Founder, Lynk, said.
The company ensures that the customers get uninterrupted business and the demand is matched with the supply. It also has registered IOS app but thus far only the Android users have been able to use this app, downloading from the Play store.
“We have 700 drivers and 60,000 to 65,000 registered customers. We do not have any choice and we link whatever truck comes in. Specialised vehicles are not in the purview now but may be on expansion we may go in for them. Our brand is getting popular now and better results are shown. We are fortunate enough in this as better word of mouth enhances our business,” Shekhar said.
The company also stated that the comfort of the drivers is taken care and as of now the incentives based on long hours is not in place. But it has worked out the base expectations and incentive plans but the structure is not disclosed. It also said that it has enough funds to expand its business. Currently 40% is owned by Ramco and 60% covers stock options and other sources of funding. “We do not see Ramco as an investor but we incubated from the Ramco group,” Shekhar said.
The company also stated that increasing business needs supply team, sales team, among others, in place. Serving the institutional demand is not in our range now as it runs on credit. Currently the company says it does not deal with credit business. Billing is tedious unlike passenger transportation. “We have to adapt that and learn quickly. It is also necessary for us to bring in uniformity and standardised pricing structures. Addition and deletion of features have to be mulled over. We have a distinctive pricing model and charges are levied based on how much time the truck is engaged. It is algorithmic and based on the base fare and the journey time. Loading and unloading of good are also considered and hence we advise our customers to speed up the process. The base fare includes 30 minutes journey time and every minute past this will be charged Rs 4 per minute and the price varies based on the category the customer goes for,” Abhinav said.
Shekhar Bhende and Abhinav Raj, Co-Founders, LYNK