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Beginner's Guide 2: Core Elements of the Trucking Industry

Published On Aug 08, 2016By Lisa Pradhan

The trucking industry witnessed a good growth by the start of this decade, growing by an encouraging seven percent between 2011 to 2013. By March 2013, the number of goods vehicles plying on Indian roads were 8.1 million. This proves that the goods transportation industry is witnessing a rapid growth and as demand for commodities increases, there is also a growing demand for trucks. In this article, we will discuss the core elements who are responsible for handling the dynamics of the trucking world.

Fleet owners

Fleet owners constitute the largest share of the truck fleet in India. Most of the fleet owners have less than five trucks and these trucks are driven by either family members or loyal hired drivers. These fleet owners are pure truck drivers and either operate as independent drivers or attach themselves to specific companies.

Individual buyers

Individual buyers are those who own only a single truck, majorly for fulfilling their own business needs. At times, these single-truck owners may also lend their vehicle to an agency during lean time.

Original Equipment Manufacturers

Since the past couple of decades, the trucking industry has witnessed several new entrants thanks to liberalization and a growing demand for trucks. Although there are several players in the commercial vehicle domain, manufacturing segments in India are dominated by a few market leaders. These original equipment manufacturers offer a host of vehicles including truck, tippers, trailers, mini trucks and pickups.

The major players in the cargo commercial vehicle sector include Tata, Mahindra, Ashok Leyland, BharatBenz, Volvo, Eicher, SML Isuzu, and Bajaj. Other international manufacturers/brands include Kamaz, Scania, and Hino.

Cargo companies/Agents

Transportation companies are the major takers of trucks. These companies are responsible for the delivery of goods from one location to another specified location. Most of transportation companies either own a fleet of trucks or they source trucks as attached ‘fleet’ from truck owners through agents. These agents operate as the link between transportation companies/businesses and fleet owners/individual truck owners.

Truck body builders

The trucking industry is highly dependent on the truck body building industry. The latter is not only huge, but also offers a host of customization options at a low cost. However, the truck body building industry is still an organized sector and quality of the products may not be optimum in most of the cases. Again, many a times, the unregulated customization done by private truck owners for garnering higher revenues has the possibility of violating the Motor Vehicles Act.

Drivers

Truck drivers form the backbone of the trucking industry. Most of the drivers are untrained, are paid poorly and are exposed to health and safety hazards given the unpredictable nature of their job. Hence, it is not surprising when we say that India faces a shortage of truck drivers.

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