Pakistani startup FARAHM wants to digitize freight industry with its online platform GULFREIGHT

By Asra Rizwan on
June 25, 2018
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Digital transformation in the freight industry is less than 15 to 20 percent. There is a widely accepted notion that freight industry is mostly hammer work, therefore it is missing out on technical expertise that can digitize the sector. Here FARAHM identified an opportunity and decided to launch its product GULFREIGHT for the digitization of the Pakistani freight industry.

Sharing the challenges and opportunities in the local freight industry with TechJuice, Founder FARAHM Farooq Tariq says,

“In the transportation and logistics industry, everyone is working in silos, and the market is pretty much fragmented. Various shipping companies have also not harnessed any transport management system. We have launched GULFREIGHT with the aim of making it the preferred logistics enabler in the whole country by providing a mechanism to connect shippers and transporters,”

FARAHM is aiming to provide digital services for shipping to goods transportation companies and owner-operated trucks in the local market. It is localizing its B2B platform to adjust according to the needs of the local market. In Pakistan, there are very few trucking companies which have a large fleet of trucks, more than 90% of the trucks on roads are owner-operated trucks. Only a handful of big players have 300 trucks in their fleet, whereas various single-operators own 20 to 30 trucks. If an operator wants to secure an order but lacks trucks, he’d call up at an adda (a centralized hub of trucks) to strike a deal with a challan adda (transport broker/goods transport company). That is where FARAHM wants to tap to bring all these players together to remove inefficiencies of the traditional business process.

GULFREIGHT’s dashboard helps track ongoing and completed orders

FARAHM is focusing to mobilize the key stakeholders of the local freight industry by digitizing business process for transporting goods without disrupting someone’s business or existing commitments. Various local businesses especially the FMCG companies have to deliver goods that may require over 50 trucks per day, sometimes amounting to 150. With FARAHM, the shippers and the transporters will be able to manage all their daily orders through an online portal and the Android/iOS App and reach out to more players.

The platform can be utilized by players that require a better transport and logistics management in terms of,

  • Documentation
  • Printing of digital waybill
  • Fully Automated Online invoicing,
  • Time and location stamping throughout the transportation process (the information will be collected through GULFREIGHT Driver APP)

Thus efficiently capturing the key events to get full control and visibility of the transport operations in real-time.

With the GULFREIGHT mobile app location of truck drivers can be monitored

FARAHM is also digitizing payments and urging the stakeholders to use digital payments services to eliminate the need for handling petty cash. They are currently in a process of integrating the payment processing into their platform with a leading Fintech.

When asked about FARAHM building its own fleet, Ahmed Omer the Co-Founder answers,

“We are essentially a technology company, we are enabling and facilitating, to build efficiencies, and are here for value addition in the current business process rather than disrupt someone’s business; we want to digitize it for them for their ease.”

FARAHM is in the process to integrate the information into the platform where prices can be compared in runtime depending upon the volume of freight. This will increase the visibility of rates in real time, a better understanding of the demand and supply of the trucks on major routes and this will eliminate unjust over-charging to less informed customers.

What’s next for FARAHM?

Currently, six shippers and are using the platform to manage their transportations requirements services. FARAHM is also in talks with some key local FMCG companies. However, Tariq acknowledges that evolving a manual system into an automated system is an organizational change in itself, wherein the companies sometimes are not keen to use a third-party system due to various organizational challenges within.

In the coming three to six months, FARAHM will be focusing on enabling customers, building orders and meanwhile trying avenues to raise capital. They are also keen to explore LTL (Less Than Truckload) shipping at inter-city level by connecting with carries and consumers (shippers) who do not require a whole truck. To achieve this, FARAHM plans to build consolidation hubs in the three major cities of operations which can be used for long-haul movements. Once major players in cargo transportation embrace technology, it will open new doors for the freight industry of Pakistan.


This story has been produced in collaboration with the sponsor and does not necessarily reflect the views of TechJuice editorial staff.

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