After 10 quarters of increase since October 2009, a major drop was witnessed in truck rentals on trunk routes by 3%-5% during April. This is due to low arrival of summer fruits and vegetables, dislocation in wheat procurement due to hailstorms and poor flow of dispatches from manufacturing sector leading to truck fleet at various centres in several states waiting for 2-3 days for freight availability.
While January and February witnessed 5%-6% increase in truck rentals and March 2012 remained steady, truck rentals witnessed major a drop during April (April 3 – May 2 2012).
Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) in its monthly report said there has been about 15% less load offerings due to dislocation in wheat procurement due to frequent heavy hailstorms in Punjab, Harayana and Western Uttar Pradesh and unseasonal rain in some parts of Madhya Pradesh.
The situation of lower cargo offerings from large number of trucking centres in several states was due to lack of support in various manufacturing areas and this has put pressure on truck fleet waiting for 2-3 days for return cargo to their home destination. "The depression in truck rentals during April is also being attributed to steep increase in sale of high tonnage multi-axle trucks during 4th quarter of fiscal ending March 31, 2012 as vehicle dealers/finance companies offered substantial discounts, pre-budget priced trucks and concessional auto finance cost," says SP Singh, senior fellow, IFTRT.
According to Singh, the drop was duly anticipated in the market.
Singh said the truck freight market for full truck load may continue to be under stress and uncertain. The proposed increase in diesel price may re fix the new levels.
However, while taking the truck freight movement during the entire fiscal ending March 31, 2012, the estimated freight moved by road touched 4,050 million metric tonne as against 3,730 million metric ton in the corresponding period last year, thus witnessing descent 8% increase.
On the other hand, rail freight movement has been 970 million metric tonne this year as against 921 million tonne last year resulting in 5.6% increase in volumes, but in relation to the planned target of 995 million tonne for fiscal ending March 31, 2012 and this is a drop of 2.8% during current fiscal.