Monday, 20 November 2017

The LOBB Story: Bringing Digital experience and efficiency in to Logistics

A year ago Bhaskar Bonepalli, a veteran agent of the logistics industry, would be troubled with calls throughout the day to arrange trucks to meet requirements of operators. He often had to call these truckers and head to the truck stop in Hoskote, where he is located, to arrange trips. Entered LOBB, the two year old startup, which went ahead and took away the headache of physical discovery of business from operators. Today Bhaskar sits at home and he knows how many logistics companies or operators require trucks and he absolutely knows how many trucks in his network are available. LOBB is an acronym for Logistics Business to Business. It is a technology company that brings truckers, agents,logistics companies and businesses all under one platform where there is seamless integration of business and flow of money.

The logistics company puts in its request on LOBB and this information is available to agents who immediately provision a certain numbers of trucks. From there on LOBB pays the truckers an advance and provide them details of the shipment and the destination for dropping the cargo off. This system makes everyone in the ecosystem agree upon a price and service. The trucker gets his money and also has a diesel card, which allows him to redeem for fuel in any HP bunk across PAN India. Being a powerful tool it has now more than 10000 truckers on its platform along with more than 200 large companies integrated on the platform. “My asset utilisation has increased thanks to the company,” says Bhaskar Bonepalli, who owns Bhavya Roadlines.

What can LOBB do for you?

It is estimated that India spends 13 percent of its GDP on logistics. This is a very high number because globally in a developing economy the logistics cost is around 8 percent. The Indian number is very high because of the lack of transparency in the ecosystem.
 Shivkumar, Head of South Region, for Inland Logistics in Chennai says that with LOBB’s app there has been absolute price transparency and availability of business. “I always found trucks serving us through their ecosystem and they help a company like us who are in constant need of trucks to move items,” he says. The availability on a real time basis is made possible only because there are a number of agents who have taken to this system because their asset utilisation has increased and they want to receive money digitally.

Thingal, the manager of fleet company VR links, agrees with Bhaskar. He says “Truck utilisation, transparency and digital payments are key features of LOBB. They are a very disruptive company” 

Today LOBB has all its agents receiving money through NPCI’s BHIM app, which makes the 
 system accountable. If you ask the LOBB founder Venu Kondur and Jayaram Raju about their journey to make this system go digital, they will tell you that they addressed the problem by figuring out the pain points in the entire ecosystem. The pain points were:

For the trucker: It was to increase asset utilization.
For the Agent: It was to increase revenues with asset utilization.
For the operators: It was to provide timely trucks.
For companies: It was to ensure price efficiency and digital transparency across the system.

“We had to integrate all these processes on to our system,” says Jayaram Raju. He says that they have even been able to decrease graft in the system. With LOBB putting the entire system together there is absolute information symmetry. Today the company has grown 20X in last 10 months and is already making a dent in the logistics ecosystem in trucking centres across south India. 

With 90 percent of Indian logistics being disorganised, LOBB is definitely a refreshing model that can map consumption and demand through trucking trips, and has the potential to scale up soon. Now, only time will tell if the truckers and agents take to using this technology. 

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