SmarTrucks: Skilling, a pri­or­ity for DHL

Cargo Talk - - Contents - Hazel Jain

SmarTrucks re­quire smart drivers and DHL SmarTruck­ing is in­vest­ing in skilling, which is also ad­dress­ing the ob­sta­cle of lack of trained hu­man re­source in the in­dus­try. Neeraj Bansal, CEO, DHL SmarTruck­ing, shares the ne­ces­sity of be­ing backed by smart tech­nol­ogy and smart peo­ple. What prompted you to en­ter the start-up ver­ti­cal of the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try?

The In­dian lo­gis­tics in­dus­try is frag­mented and there is no sin­gle player in the mar­ket that has a strong global pres­ence. This in it­self presents a great op­por­tu­nity. With the launch of DHL SmarTruck­ing, we aim to trans­form the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try by tak­ing ad­van­tage of ex­ist­ing and emerg­ing smart tech­nolo­gies, and a highly com­mit­ted team, to pro­vide clients with the most re­li­able and easy road trans­porta­tion ser­vices in an in­no­va­tive and ag­ile way.

Why did you take up skilling as a pri­or­ity?

We want to re-imag­ine the whole trans­porta­tion in­dus­try in In­dia. With this launch we are bring­ing tech­nol­ogy

to the fore­front. Any­one can have trucks. But they need to be backed by smart tech­nol­ogy and very smart peo­ple. What we are do­ing is fo­cus on peo­ple (skilling), and tech­nol­ogy for op­er­a­tions that en­ables us to in­te­grate with our cus­tomer so­lu­tions. Peo­ple will be our cor­ner­stone. We are more like a start-up and will also func­tion like that. How are you train­ing them?

The truck is key but the driver is the sec­ond-most im­por­tant el­e­ment here. We im­part the same val­ues as the com­pany to the SmarTruck­ers as we are call­ing them. We are train­ing them, do­ing back­ground ver­i­fi­ca­tion, hir­ing the right kind of peo­ple, giv­ing them sim­u­la­tion tests, learn­ing tests, ob­ser­va­tion their driv­ing be­hav­iour and their driv­ing pat­tern over a pe­riod of time. For all of this we have a driver en­gage­ment pro­gramme as well as a driver ex­cel­lence pro­gramme that we have set up.

How smart are th­ese SmarTrucks?

We have been run­ning tri­als since De­cem­ber 2017 and we have con­sis­tently seen the travel time on an av­er­age re­duced by 50 per cent for tran­sit – from days to hours. Our aim is to de­liver more than 95 per cent prod­ucts safely and se­curely. We can even cus­tomise so­lu­tions for the cus­tomer. Th­ese smart trucks will bring in com­plete trans­parency, giv­ing them 24x7 vis­i­bil­ity in real time truck­ing. The cus­tomer will be able to see where his ship­ment is in real time. Even when a door opens, the cus­tomer will get an alert. The tech­nol­ogy that has been put into th­ese trucks shows if it is mak­ing an un­sched­uled stop.

How will this help the cus­tomer?

With this data, the cus­tomer will know when their ship­ment is ar­riv­ing and can start work­ing on the back-end part of it without wast­ing time. Also, more time on the

The travel time on an av­er­age has been re­duced by 50 per cent for tran­sit

road means more things can go wrong. Our aim is to have shorter time frames. The driver also has an app to com­mu­ni­cate with the con­trol tower. With the IoT-en­abled trucks, we are build­ing so­lu­tions us­ing big data and an­a­lyt­ics. For us, it is not a truck, it’s a data hub. We al­ready have 150 trucks up and run­ning pan In­dia.

Can you share SmarTruck­ing’s In­dia growth strat­egy?

DHL SmarTruck­ing of­fers the fastest tran­sit times with 95 per cent re­li­a­bil­ity and up to 50 per cent re­duc­tion in tran­sit times com­pared to tra­di­tional truck­ing, along with ease of use, endto-end con­sign­ment vis­i­bil­ity, tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled ca­pa­bil­i­ties and real-time track­ing that beats in­dus­try stan­dards. At the mo­ment we are run­ning pan-In­dia op­er­a­tions us­ing a net­work of smart hubs spread across the coun­try. Our aim is to dis­rupt the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try in In­dia through ju­di­cious and progressive use of tech­nol­ogy, cus­tomised to the in­dus­tries we serve. This is a long-term com­mit­ment and we will continue to in­vest as much as needed, as In­dia is a key mar­ket for DHL. We plan to own and put 10,000 SmarTrucks on the road and hire 20,000 drivers in the next 10 years. Th­ese trucks will be IoT-en­abled and tem­per­a­ture-con­trolled which will en­hance cus­tomers’ in­ven­tory man­age­ment and en­able them to reach cus­tomers and mar­kets faster.

JULY - 2018

Neeraj Bansal CEO DHL SmarTruck­ing

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