Trukker, which provides an Uber-like digital network for lorries and pick-up trucks in the Mena region, is expanding its operations to Poland and Kazakhstan, the two key logistics centres in the EU and Commonwealth of Independent States, as it looks to boost growth.
The company is also backed by large institutional investors such as Mubadala Investment Company, Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Riyadh-based venture capital fund STV and the International Finance Corporation.
It raised $96 million in February this year to expand its operations.
“Poland and Kazakhstan are strategically located along the Belt and Road route at the crossroads of Eurasia,” said Gaurav Biswas, founder and chief executive of Trukker.
“Poland's convenient transportation, low freight costs and high logistics performance index, which ranks 28th globally, provide favourable conditions for Trukker to access European supply.”
Kazakhstan, on the other hand, is the regional centre for the surrounding economies, with trade arteries spread across Europe and Central Asia, Mr Biswas said.
The global road freight industry, which has grown consistently in the past decade, was valued at about $3.1 trillion in 2020, according to a Frost & Sullivan report.
While the industry was hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic, the report forecasts that global road freight revenue will grow by an average of 4.3 per cent a year from 2020 to 2025.
"We are already operating active haulages in the Mena markets,” said Pradeep M, co-founder and chief technology officer of Trukker.
“The opportunity in EU and CIS lanes are exciting and we plan to partner with digital marketplaces and also invest in the region while the EU is facing certain economic challenges. We plan to build a strong business during a downturn."
Established in 2016, Trukker employs real-time technology to support land freight in the Middle East.
It entered the business-to-business space in 2018 and currently has a fleet of more than 40,000 lorries, with customers in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Oman and Turkey, according to its website.
The company is exploring a potential listing on Saudi Arabia's Tadawul stock exchange in an attempt to tap into the region's growth potential, Mr Biswas told The National in December 2020.
“Our stations in Poland and Kazakhstan will create additional infrastructure to our strong presence in Turkey," said Hakan Arikan, regional director for CIS and Eastern Europe at Trukker.
"This will help us to service our clients on both sides with additional reliability and efficiency.”