Prudent practices and an eye for excellent service has elevated V-Trans India to the position of one of the most admired transport companies in the country.
V-Trans India bagged the Apollo CV Award in the ‘Large Truck Fleet Operator’ category in 2015. The award was conferred after much competitive evaluation and scrutiny. This is not the first award that the company has won. They won the National Award for excellence in personnel management and an award for environmental conservation in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The series of awards and accolades the company has received in the last five years is testimony to its quest for excellence in service and prudent practices. Starting the journey with a single truck in 1958, as Vijay Transport, the company has come to be one of the most appreciated fleet operators in the country. Mahendra K Shah, MD, V-Trans India Ltd. said, that it was his company’s foresight and the ability to adapt to changes, which has made this possible. “We invested in a corporate makeover in 2001. Vijay Transport became V-Trans India. Two new divisions were added – V-Xpress (an express division) and V-Logis (a logistics division).” An independent entity, V-Trans provides hard freight transportation. V-Xpress offers express cargo (both surface and air) service, and V-Logis extends customised services including warehousing and inventory management solutions.
“We wanted to be a single window solution provider to our customers for their entire logistics needs. We are happy that we were able to provide that,” asserted Shah. The corporate makeover was followed by a decision to expand the company’s operations. In terms of fleet management and reach, V-Trans India is present at over 400 locations across India. It is continuing to expand; make its services available to more and more people in the country. “We are capable of moving goods weighing over 12 lakh tonnes; worth Rs. 20,000 crore of over one-lakh customers per annum. This is possible because of our well-knit operation,” averred Shah. He added, “Close to 1,200 trucks are loaded everyday across India.” If this reflects on the business expanse of V-Trans India, efficiency is kept high despite more than 50 per cent of the company’s truck fleet being hired. Though owned by associates, these trucks operate as per the V-Trans India guidelines and follow the same ethics and brand value said Shah. The company’s own fleet consists of 160 trucks. These include Full Truck Load (FTL) and container load. The trucks are of Tata, Volvo Eicher, Ashok Leyland and BharatBenz make.
Banking on infra
Infrastructure is one of V-Trans India’s biggest asset. According to Shah, it is V-Tran’s strategic investments and tie-ups which help it to deliver high quality services. With stress on a modern infrastructure, V-Trans India has come to have spacious godowns and parking facilities across the length and breadth of the country. The company, for example, has a 35,000 sq. ft. warehouse with 30 loading bays and a parking space for atleast 70 trucks at Bengaluru. At Chennai, the company has a 28,000 sq. ft. premises with 24 loading bays. At Hyderabad, it has a 30,000 sq. ft. warehouse. At Aslali near Ahmedabad, V-Trans India has a hub of around 70,000 sq. ft. At Rudanagar near Rajkot, the company has a 7,500 sq. ft. warehouse. At Talegaon near Pune, the company has invested in a 22,000 sq. ft. premises. “We also have modern warehouses in north India at places like Jammu, Baddi, Ludhiana, Deharadun, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gurgaon, Jaipur and Lucknow measuring over 70,000 sq. ft.,” revealed Shah. The one at Vapi is a super hub according to him. Built on a large piece of land, this hub has platform level godowns with 24 loading bays. Its design and construction ensures dust free operation and smooth movement of vehicles.
“We call it a super hub since the facility is capable of taking good care of the drivers and labourers. They can rest, and have good sanitation and eating facilities at their disposal,” remarked Shah. Hard freight surface transport is V-Trans India’s core strength. It is backed by the extensive network the company has come to invest in. The network is also quite resourceful, and supports the movement of small and sundry parcels, full and part trucks loads, ODC (Over Dimensional Cargo) and project transport. Over the years, the company, through V- Logis, has come to offer integrated 3PL solutions that adhere to the advanced TAPA (Transported Asset Protection Association) standards. Customised warehouse management systems (WMS) enables customers to manage and control their inventory online (on a real time basis). This could be also looked upon as a way to make the most out of the space the company has invested in. Stress is clearly on integration and a single window system to satisfy the needs of the clients. An example of this is the custom clearance facility V-Trans India offered to one of its client executing a solar power project in Gujarat for their imports, primary and secondary, including inland distribution of goods through trailers and containers, to various warehouses.
Claims and disputes arising out of incidences like accidents are settled at once. Shah claimed that his is the only company that offers a multi-transit insurance policy for the goods that they ferry. This move, Shah reckoned, was employed at a time when insurance companies were wary of insuring goods through a transporter. However, acknowledging V-Trans India’s track record and standing in the market, National Insurance Company acceded to the request. Understanding the need for customers to track their goods online, Shah decided to engineer better value in the services his company offered. It was decided to launch a web-based program ‘e-cargo’. This software displays all the reports related to V-Trans’ clients. It also provides real-time information, about the location of the consignment to both the company as well as its clients. A dedicated team at the company’s corporate office in Mumbai, looks into the grievances of the clients. Complaints are addressed within 24 hours of being lodged. “We lay emphasis on the human aspect of our service. We ensure that our clients get more than what they expect,” said Shah. This policy applies to the employees of the company as well. They are given ample opportunities to grow and keep abreast with changing market dynamics, “We have created our own training and development centre, called ‘Pathshala’ at Ahmedabad. Where our employees are trained to develop and enhance their skills,” remarked Shah. The centre holds a four-days induction program every month and is equipped with two training rooms, a computer lab and a conference room. It also houses air-conditioned lodging and boarding facilities for 25 persons at a time.
V-Trans India is a family owned company. It was founded by brothers K K Shah, J K Shah and V K Shah. The second generation is at the helm now, and includes Ashok K Shah, the chairman of the company; Mahendra K Shah, the Managing Director, and Hasmukh K Shah, the Executive Director and cousins. Drivers, are a critical part of the company’s operations, and as per Hasmukh Shah, they are an extension of the family in many ways. Not surprisingly, V-Trans has many second generation drivers. It is the respect the company gives to its drivers, apart from trust and good facilities, they seldom leave us, Shah stated. “We provide training to enhance their skills and make them aware about their health and personal care. We also ensure that before embarking on the trip they are briefed in detail about goods and the relevant documents, routes and check post formalities to avoid unnecessary delays and damages.” he added. There is no dearth of drivers at V-Trans India at a time when many others in the transportation industry are finding their growth models hampered by the scarcity of drivers. A look at V-Trans India’s operations, and it is clear, that it is all in the family!