V-Trans was started (as Vijay Transport) with a single office and 2 trucks in 1958 in the deserted land of Kutch by Late K K Shah & brothers for road transport between Gujarat & Maharashtra. Over the years, the company evolved as a pan India logistics solutions provider. As the second generation entered into the business, Mahendra Shah, the current managing director, along with other directors, shaped the company into a total logistics service provider.

In an exclusive interaction with ITLN, Shah talks about his company’s reach, clients, partnerships, the business of V-Xpress & V-Logis, technology adoption and the future.

Give us a historical perspective of how logistics has changed throughout the existence of V-Trans. What are the new trends in sight?

Today V-Trans is one of the leading names in the logistics industry, with all impressive numbers and leading industry accolades for its excellent services and good work done for social benefits. The evolution of the logistics industry in India could be understood with this growth story of V-Trans.

The industry used to be more unorganised with smaller players dominating a lane or a cluster of lanes. There was no customer orientation, standardisation and use of technology. All of this started to change, slowly some players who adopted standardisation, technology and customer-centric approach became large. Gradually the clients started moving with players who were ethical in their approach, like V-Trans. Further, as the infra started developing and industrialisation took place transport/logistics became a more important part of the business. In the last 5 years, the logistics industry has undergone a sea change. Big changes like GST and the e-way bill has induced big transformation in the sector. It has pushed the entire industry towards being more organised and more efficient. Many start-ups have entered into the space, challenging the status quo and taking the long-lasting issues head-on. The government’s focus and solid intentions to bring the logistics cost down and make it competitive to the global standards has also supported the changes in the sector.

Now we see the consolidation of smaller players & warehouses into big ones, use of all advanced technologies like deep data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics are taking logistics to a next level. Also, there is increased awareness in the corporates for their role towards environment and society. V-Trans was recently awarded the number one position in the work on sustainability.

How big is V-Trans in terms of its reach, logistics capabilities, expertise? How V-Trans is positioned in the market against its competitors? What are the value prepositions?

What are the value prepositions? For over six decades now, V-Trans is serving the logistics needs of manufacturers of all sizes, be it a large MNC, an Indian multinational or the MSMEs. We have network penetration across India and in BBIN countries with over 750 branches, and 50 hubs & transhipments. We have around 2 million sq ft serviceable area, and over 1 million sq ft pure warehousing space to support the massive volumes of 22 lakh mt For moving the goods round the clock we have power of 1,300 advanced trucks and over 3,000 seasoned professionals. In India, we are serving over 15,000 pin codes and outside India, we have operations in Bangladesh, Bhutan & Nepal.

V-Trans as a group is uniquely positioned to offer end-to-end logistic solutions to clients by offering unmatched PTL service, FTL & ODC, with door to door multimodal express cargo and comprehensive warehousing solutions. Part load is an art that V-Trans mastered over 6 decades, and for that service, we are the best choice in the country. V-Trans has become a brand synonymous with human values and ethical operations.

Consolidation of smaller players & warehouses into big ones, technologies like deep data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics are taking logistics to a next level.

Give us an idea about your clients, partnerships and how your business relationships are spread across?

As a reliable and dependable logistics partner, V-Trans group offers its clients unparalleled experience and expertise in business and operational excellence. Our clients are from across industries like chemical, auto & engineering, publishing, FMCG – F&B, electrical, textiles, oil & lubricants, pharma, consumer durables etc. Our association with vendors and other business partners have been like a family. V-Trans is known for timely payments and that encourages the best of the vendors to join us.

How the business of V-Xpress & V-Logis fits into the larger picture of V-Trans and how far it has penetrated?

V-Xpress and V-Logis are essential arms of V-Trans which are playing a critical role in delivering the single window solutions for all logistics needs of our clients. V-Xpress covers the multimodal specialize, door to door express cargo movement across the nation and V-Logis provides comprehensive warehousing solutions. All verticals of the group together position it at a level that is unique for having all logistics requirements fulfilled in house.

Numerous clients, who are associated with us at the group level are enjoying the complete solutions that we offer. Usually, in a 3PL company, they have a warehousing space and go for outsourcing the movement solutions which at times becomes challenging, whereas, in V-Trans’ case from warehousing to first mile and last mile, tech integrated highly efficient services are offered seamlessly within the group.

The group is strengthening both the verticals and with this becoming stronger for offering complete logistics solutions to any need of the client.

How well integrated is V-Trans with new technology trends?

V-Trans is one of the few companies from the logistics sector which has used technology extensively in its various operations. This includes optimization of routes and networks with location intelligence from various sources which are primarily supported with Google maps. This in turn saves a lot of cost. Scheduling and placement of vehicles are done completely online. There is a seasoned team of traffic department which is expert and well versed with truck hires, and evaluating the cost of own v/s hire truck. Due to the massive load we handle, we deploy over 1500 trucks daily, over and above the strength of owned and attached fleet. Our scheduling success rate average has been over 90 percent.

For past approx. 7 – 8 years we have started using data extensively and have built models that predict seasonality with 95 percent+ accuracy. We also use modelling for prediction and thus intelligent decision making. All of our leaders view the internal data on power BI dashboards which have various analysis and forecast options. The power of AI and ML has also been put up to work for making the best load combination and predictive maintenance of vehicles etc.

What we could expect from V-Trans in the near future?

We are penetrating into many more Indian states and are developing secondary distribution capabilities as well. This penetration by the expansion of our network makes our infra more perfect for the ideal hub & spoke model.

We are also strengthening our capabilities of V-Xpress and V-Logis to offer seamless single-window solutions. We will further fortify the legacy of PTL for which V-Trans is now unmatched. Also, we are focusing to build the SAARC business where we have kept the focus on BBIN in the initial phase. Bringing in more technology and delivering better efficiency to give our clients a logistics edge will always be our continuous focus. We will also be focusing to promote and further enhance our super special hazardous chemical storage facility that we have named as ChemStore, located at Bhiwandi, Mumbai.

I believe that every day at V-Trans has to be better than yesterday, and the whole company is aligned in the direction. As our industry has a significant skill & talent gap, we have kept our training and development an integral part at V-Trans.

We are working closely with some NGOs to greenifying the planet, and also for the betterment of society towards a sustainable future.