Swapnil Shah on the role technology and future of logistics in India
Freight Tiger was founded with an aim to build a more collaborative ecosystem for all. We are a platform that serves LSPs/transport companies and shippers in the logistics industry.
In this interview with AITWA (All India Transporters Welfare Association), Swapnil Shah, CEO & Founder, FT, discusses how we specifically cater to transport companies as technology partners, in addition to what the future holds for the Indian logistics industry.
1. How long have you been in operation?
We started operations in 2015, but our journey started much before this. Before founding Freight Tiger, I was a Lean 6 Sigma black belt at Caterpillar’s 3PL business in the USA. I was fascinated with the world of logistics and supply chain and the complexities and challenges that it faces. When exploring the situation in India, I realized the issues here were remarkably similar to the US, just on a much larger scale. I decided to come back and use technology to build efficiency and reduce waste across supply chain operations. Back in 2015, technology and digitization had limited adoption in logistics; after speaking to multiple stakeholders, we realised that the most critical challenge the industry faced was that of real time “visibility” and “tracking” of movement of goods especially on market trucks. Surprisingly, this is the main challenge even today, which became clear when the pandemic required a much higher level of logistics reliability than exists. Being the first company to introduce visibility into logistics in India, in five years our FT Trace product has evolved from being a simple track and trace functionality to one of the most comprehensive modules in the market along with several other modules for end-to-end freight transaction management.
2. What is the kind of business model your organization follows? How many branches/employees do you have?
We are a technology partner to the industry. We provide a platform to both shippers and logistics companies/transport companies to bring real time visibility, improve efficiency and build stellar customer service. Additionally, we provide control tower software and managed services for managing any exceptions or escalations. This is where we combine the offline with the digital.
We have a team of 250+ professionals across various functions including technology, engineering, product, sales, business operations, etc. Aside from our tech products, we have 70+ experts at our HQ and customer locations who help our customers on the ground 24/7 with any problems they may face.
Freight Tiger is headquartered in Mumbai but also has operations in Delhi and Bangalore. Our tech, product and engineering teams are primarily based out of our Bangalore office.
3. How can technology help in the growth of the Indian logistics industry? Where is your organization positioned in the relevant technology?
Technology is going to be the driver of growth and the key element that is going to transform the industry. An intelligent and neutral operating system like ours for freight will allow for end-to-end streamlining, trust between stakeholders, and never-heard-of transparency. The efficiency gains alone can make a sizable dent in India’s logistics spent as a % of GDP, which at 14% is one of the highest in the world. Our customers, both shippers and transport companies, are already seeing the immense benefits of adopting technology. With Freight Tiger as a partner, they have guaranteed end-to-end visibility of all their freight transactions, which can help improve TAT and OTIF and build efficiency in their entire logistics management process. We also have products that can provide financing options and reduce payment cycles to transport companies at any point of their logistics journey. Currently we’re working on AI-based products backed by analytics and data, which will put Freight Tiger at the forefront of logistics technology in India.
4. Who are your present clients?
We primarily serve transport companies/logistics service providers and shippers. We have 200+ customers who use the Freight Tiger platform, such as Best Roadways, Prakash Parcel, DHL, Saint Gobain, JSW Steel, Sri Srinivasa Roadlines, Dalmia Cement, Patanjali, BLR Logistiks, Sugam, Bhoruka and many more.
5. What are the special services offered by you?
We build the best in-class technology for our customers to help them grow and optimise their logistics operations by reducing waste and building efficiency. Some of the products we built recently include:
- – FT Trace – Gives 100% visibility to all freight transactions and trips (including market trucks) which can improve TAT at loading, unloading and in-transit for owned and market vehicle transactions
- – Control Tower – Gives a cockpit view of the entire journey management, configured alerts, and real-time ETAs that can be shared with your customers.
- – Managed Services/Customer Support – To manage exceptions or escalations easily, and to make better decisions real time
- – ePOD – For faster payments to transport companies. PODs can be submitted easily via App, IVR, OTP, or email. All PODs and consignee verifications recorded in one place. This expedites payment cycle to transporters.
- – FT Insight – Insights into your business for you to reduce your cost and improve your customer service experience
- – FT Boost – Easy financing for transport companies at every step of their logistics process, at the most competitive rates
- – Whatsapp Chatbot – Enables faster and easier communication – not just with us but also with your own customers
- – E-Freight Bills – For hassle-free freight payment reconciliation and automated invoice generation. This reduces payment cycles for transport companies.
6. How do you see the logistics industry in the coming year?
I believe that the coming year will see the beginning of the transformation of the logistics industry. With the adoption of technology and digitisation we will build trust and collaboration amongst all stakeholders. With financing options for transport companies, it will become possible to enable access to working capital for better risk management. All in all, in the coming year we all need to work together and support each other to build a better ecosystem for the entire industry.