The slump in factory output following the lockdowns in nearly all the states and Union Territories across India has resulted in decline of 5-7 percent in truck rentals on key trunk routes in the past 15 days alone, news agency PTI reported quoting the data released by Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), a Delhi-based think tank.
The truck rentals were expected to be down more had the arrival of summer fruits, vegetables, wheat and other crops in APMC mandis not gone up by 10-15 per cent, IFTRT said.
The think tank further reported that with the lockdown seeing a steep drop in cargo offerings as businesses and factories of MSMEs in most states are under lockdown, demand for new vehicles to replace old fleet by owners has come to a standstill. This has resulted in a temporary pause in production of commercial vehicles, creating a cascading effect on the Indian economy as a whole.
With the Met office announcing the monsoon will likely hit Kerala by May 31, the road transport sector will witness a further slump, which is expected to go beyond the monsoon season.
In April, IFTRT had revealed that truck rentals on trunk routes had crashed by 18-27 percent over March due to the lockdowns. As the states had started to witness the second wave, Maharashtra followed by Delhi and then Karnataka announced lockdowns that resulted in a 35-40 per cent slump in the factory output due to production cuts and closures.
As per the think tank, nearly 40 percent of the 1.4 million medium and heavy commercial vehicles that have national permits and 2.5 million trucks with inter-state permits have remained unutilised.
(Edited by : Shoma)