Cairo-based trucking marketplace Trella has expanded to Pakistan with the launch of its operations across the country, the company said to MENAbytes. It is the third market for the Egyptian startup, which expanded to Saudi Arabia earlier this year.
Started in early 2019, Trella connects shippers with carriers to transport goods. The marketplace claims to have brought transparency, affordability, and reliability to the stakeholders of the trucking industry. Trella’s mobile app for shippers enables them to create and track shipments, as well as communicate with the carrier. The carriers also get a dedicated mobile app that provides access to the marketplace, order tracking, as well as insights and reports on their performance.
According to the startup’s website, the vehicles that are part of Trella’s network include trailers, flatbed trucks, jumbo trucks, and pickups.
In Pakistan, Trella is led by Saim Chaudhary, who was previously with Uber Pakistan, where he set up the rickshaw ride-hailing service Uber Auto and supported the launch for Uber Moto in different cities. He joined Trella this year to launch the company’s operations in Saudi Arabia and now leads its operations in Pakistan.
In a conversation with MENAbytes, Chaudhary explained the decision to launch in Pakistan and said, “There are a great deal of cultural, economic, and environmental similarities between Pakistan and MENA countries; it is actually often grouped together. With Trella becoming a key regional player, such an extension seemed natural.”
“The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the evolution of digital technologies in Pakistan. Trella feels that we will be able to reach a strong product-market fit now rather than later, and you could gain an early mover advantage due to the nascent size of the digital freight startups operating in the massive Pakistani trucking industry,” he added.
The company had previously identified Pakistan to run specific support functions from here. That also contributed to its decision of launching its services in the country.
MENAbytes understands that Trella is looking at multiple markets in the region and beyond as new destinations for its international expansion. The company’s global head of expansion, Peter May, who has been with Trella for over a year, shared some details about their expansion strategy: “To enable Trella to launch new markets effectively and quickly, we focus on four key enablers: our product, our strategy, our playbook, and our team. As we continue to expand, Trella truly believes that we can develop a completely scalable approach to launch, which will allow us to exploit the significant opportunity at hand on a global scale.”
May also explained that as a result of the acceleration in the adoption of digital products due to COVID-19, they are witnessing a pull from players in the logistics industry too, driving their approach to support regional access.
Saim Chaudhary, Trella’s general manager in Pakistan, highlighted the opportunity that the country offers and said that the trucking industry is highly fragmented in Pakistan, with the market operating in a very inefficient way due to its reliance on traditional methods. “We are here to change that, and aim to become the largest digital end-to-end logistics provider in Pakistan and transform the way freight is moved in this country,” he said.
Trella’s ten-member team in Pakistan includes a mix of former employees of mobility startups and trucking industry veterans. “We’ve been fortunate enough to assemble an A-team with diverse backgrounds. Each of our employees have played a big part in making the launch successful,” said Chaudhary.
This article was first published by MENAbytes.