Need a truck?

Ahmed Shatil Alam writes about ‘Truck Lagbe’, the app that can be an answer to the relocation problems of many Dhaka city dwellers



From shifting home to transporting export items to port areas, truck or covered vans would be recognised as one of the major source of transportation in Bangladesh alike other countries. Besides the trucks, covered vans, pickups etc have become the main transport vehicles for transporting various goods as house hold items, development equipment and more from one place to another in the country. According to Bangladesh Truck Owners Association around 243,000 trucks, covered vans and pickups are running in Bangladesh in a disorganised manner.

While talking to New Age Xtra, truck owners shared that mostly they need to rely on ‘middle men’ to make trips and often the trips remain one way, instead of round trip, which puts them in a situation of facing serious loss in running businesses. They also shared that due to this situation often they have to charge more than usual fare from the consumers to tackle their losses. Meanwhile, consumers also shared that they have to face trouble in searching and hire a truck to transport their products one place to another.

A Bangladeshi startup has come up with an idea to mitigate the problems of both parties. The startup company- brilliant Ideas Limited, has launched an app called ‘Truck Lagbe’ recently. Through this app, one can hire a truck as per his/her need via mobile phones and at the same time the truck owners would not need to depend on the ‘middle man’.

The app, awarded with the first position at ICT Innovation Challenge 2017, will also allow the truck owners to give their truck for hire as per their wish and desired fare. While talking to New Age Xtra, Anayet Rashid, the founder of the startup, shared that when a consumer need a truck, he/she needs to call for a truck/covered van/pickup etc as per their necessity with a favourable price they can afford. ‘And then, if any vehicle owner agrees with the fare and route then they can make the trip,’ he explains.

The app also allows GPS tracking through which both the vehicle owner and consumer can see the live location of the truck, they own or hired, which will definitely give both the person relief, he says. ‘The GPS service along with the 24-hours customer care service will be provided by us,’ he adds. Besides, the total responsibility of delivering products will rely on ‘Truck Lagbe’, through which confirmation on delivering products will be ensured, he shares.

Mentioning the necessity of the app, Anayet says that the app can have a positive impact in four ways: it gives freedom to the truck owners, gives a new and convenient way to consumers for hiring trucks, mitigate the losses usually incurred by truck owners and also, it can decrease the CO2 emission.

He says one of the major problem in this business is that as the trips are not confirmed, often a truck return back to its base empty with no contract that leads the truck owners to charge double from the consumers. ‘Suppose a truck is going to Chittagong from Dhaka with readymade garments and then it returned to Dhaka without any trip… if the truck owner knew that another person from Chittagong needs a truck and can hire it, then it will never return back to Dhaka empty,’ he explains. ‘In this case two trucks will be needed instead of one and this is how more fuel is burnt and more carbon is emitted,’ he adds.

Anayet mentioned that earlier, as a businessmen he used to face difficulties while trying to hire trucks to transport his goods from one place to another. ‘Often I had to struggle to find a truck on due time and after hiring a vehicle I had to charge double or more,’ he shares.

After that, with the support of some of his friends, the businessman turned IT startup founder established the company in January of this year. The company conducted a study which found that 86 per cent trucks- owned by individual truck owners, return to their base point empty after dropping the initial products, while 65 per cent trucks are owned by the big transport businessmen.

After finding this result, they found out that the situation is almost same in some Asian countries like Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Nepal. The company plans to launch their venture in those countries within the next couple of years.