SmarTrucks: Skilling, a priority for DHL
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