The trucking industry in India is facing a major crisis due to the global Coronavirus pandemic. How is the industry responding to the crisis and what can we learn from this about the resilience of the industry in overcoming its challenges in these unprecedented times? We will attempt to answer these questions by looking at the role of trucking industry stakeholders and how they have come together in this time of need. But first a bit about stakeholders.

Stakeholders play a critical role in the efficient and effective functioning of any business or industry. They are defined as any groups, individuals or organizations that either directly impact or are impacted by the functioning of a business or industry. Examples of stakeholders include employees, owners, trade unions, government agencies, suppliers, financiers, customers and civil society/community based organizations.

The trucking industry in India like in other countries comprises of a complex web of stakeholders interacting with each other and influencing the industry in myriad ways. The list below highlights some of the major stakeholders in the industry and their roles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above list of stakeholders along with a few others such as financiers, insurance companies, truck repair shops, and roadside food outlets collectively form important cogs in the Indian trucking industry wheel and ensure its smooth functioning.

Though stakeholders are essential to the day to day functioning of an industry, it is often at times of crisis that their support becomes critical especially to those impacted the most. Let’s take a look at how the different stakeholder groups are helping truck drivers and small fleet owners who have borne the brunt of the present crisis.

Industry associations:  The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) and the All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), the two largest industry associations, have been very proactive in disseminating information through their social media accounts (Twitter and Facebook) to help stranded drivers find food, rest areas and other amenities as well as keep abreast on latest policy announcements. (AIMTC Twitter and Facebook AITWA Twitter and Facebook)

 

Government agencies:  The various agencies of the Central government are working diligently to address issues faced by drivers as well as fleet owners. Some examples of the various steps taken include the following :

 

 

 

 

Truck manufacturers and fuel suppliers: Truck manufacturers and fuel suppliers have also responded proactively by reaching out to their owner and driver network and providing required help.

 

 

Technology companies: A silver lining in the dark cloud of the Coronavirus pandemic is the realization among trucking industry stakeholders, and in particular among drivers and fleet owners, of the importance of technology adoption. There is increasing usage of social media platforms by drivers to access information and the usage of mobile apps to solve daily challenges is on the rise. Many technology companies are providing app based services at this time to help the driver community find information on food locations, rest areas and optimal routes.

It is indeed heartening to see how the different stakeholders have come together to help truck drivers and fleet owners at this difficult time. However, the industry is not out of the woods yet and a major challenge looms in the future – the predicted driver shortages as a result of a large number of migrant drivers moving back to their hometowns and the uncertainty on how many would be willing to return to their employers once things come back to normal. It is therefore important that stakeholders continue to work together with a long term focus to help the industry bounce back to it’s precrisis days.

As a technology company, we at Intents Mobi are also deeply invested in helping the trucking industry stakeholders, in particular the drivers and fleet owners not only tide over the present crisis but to build long term resilience in the future. Over the last month or so, we have been busy interacting with drivers, owners and associations to gather ground level information which has given us important insights to channel our efforts towards the right solutions. We will continue to share our thoughts and ideas and look forward to working with the other stakeholders to develop innovative technology solutions to #ThankOurTruckers who are giving it their all to help us.

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