The transport ministry recently asked B2B logistics firm BlackBuck to identify bottlenecks, choking points, and inefficient routes on India’s highways. BlackBuck, which recently concluded its Series-C round of funding wherein it raised around $70 million, has used big data analytics to carve itself a niche business in a hotly contested space.
BlackBuck has so far collected immense amounts of GPS data in the last 26 months from over 300 long-haul trucks. The company was then able sift through and analyse the 1.92 crore data points on the highways to track data and identify choking points and inefficiencies.
Some of the findings from the data analysed revealed that many trucks were taking inefficient routes, avoiding the shortest route, opting for circuitous routes, etc. thus increasing time spent in transit, reducing efficiency and raising transportation costs. Deeper inspection of the original data revealed the reasons for many of the inefficient route selections and reasons for delay in transit. It was discovered that many trucks avoid the most efficient route because of factors like road safety, harassment and delays at certain checkpoints and tolls, and terrain-navigating difficulties in certain areas.
In collaboration with US-based global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, BlackBuck has been instructed to identify more of the pain-points currently causing inefficiencies in the Indian road-transport system on national highways.
The Head of Product and Data Science at BlackBuck, Indraneel Bommisetty, said that, “We noticed that the fare to carry freight from point A to B was x, but from B to A was 2x.In some cases, the trucks were taking a circuitous route, avoiding what was the shortest and most efficient route,” and added that, “We identified the choke points on the national highways and about 150-200 checkpoints and certain spots where highway construction was causing hold ups. A lot of these issues would be addressed as part of the GST.”