Islamabad: Despite the government’s focus on trade and connectivity and billions of dollars of goods transported each year, Pakistan’s road freight industry has long remained stuck in an outdated manual system.
Truck It In, a Pakistani digital logistics company, aims to simplify, streamline and modernize the road freight transport for millions of businesses. The digital transformation will help increase the efficiency of Pakistan’s $25 billion road freight industry. The Karachi-based startup powered by a technology platform (web and mobile app) is directly connecting shippers with truckers in a traditional middlemen heavy market making the transport system efficient, said Raza Afzal, co-founder at Truck It In.
The trucking platform is “at the very early stages of transforming a critical industry and aim to help over 3 million businesses save $1 billion annually in supply chain inefficiencies” said Mohammad Sarmad Farooq, CEO and co-founder.
The startup that aims to become the largest trucking platform in Pakistan was launched to solve the pain points in road freight transport due to traditional broker practices and outdated methods. “Shippers had to spend hours on phone calls with brokers to find someone to pick their load. This system was less reliable, costly and time-consuming” Afzal told Gulf News. After identifying the huge gap between the shippers and carriers, the company says it is “working relentlessly to improve the experience of both businesses and truckers”.
The co-founders thought they’d have to spend a lot of time persuading businesses to use their app. “But the response was phenomenal and beyond our expectations. We offered them exactly what they were looking for: a fast, efficient, reliable system to enable digital freight matching” also known as Uber for the trucking industry. They started commercial operations in January 2021 when many global businesses were bouncing back from the pandemic. The company has grown massively, over 18 times since September 2020 when the pilot project, he said.
On Tuesday, the startup announced that it has raised a $3 million extension to its pre-seed round, taking the cumulative raise to over $4.5 million in just over 4 months and making it the largest round for this stage in the trucking space. Global Founders Capital, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Picus Capital, Zayn Capital and leading Pakistani supply chain conglomerate have funded the startup.
Truck It In co-founders Sarmad Farooq, Haider Navid and Raza Afzal are former executives of ride-hailing app Careem. “We have utilized the experience gained at Careem to solve a new problem. From moving people from one place to another, we are now in the business of moving cargo” to transform the sluggish logistics and transport industry in a fast-growing country.
Pakistan’s logistics and transport sector contributes approximately 22.3% to the services sector GDP and account for 6 per cent of total jobs. Digital transformation push will be crucial in attaining Pakistan’s future economic goals and emerge as the trade hub connecting Central Asia, Middle East and South Asia.