Truck rentals on key routes remained unchanged in July 2014 as the fall in cargo offerings from fruit and vegetable APMCs was compensated by improvement in despatches from the manufacturing sector. Truck rentals have risen 12-14% over the last six months, bringing relief to fleet operators battling muted manufacturing activity.
A monthly alert by the Indian Foundation of Transport Research & Training (IFTRT) on Monday said rentals remain unchanged in July 2014 as monsoon spread was uneven across the country.
“Uneven rain adversely impacted the arrival of summer fruit and vegetables into APMCs, which saw a drop of 10-15%. Though a 5-7% increase in despatches of intermediate materials and finished products in the manufacturing sector compensated the cargo availability to the truckers on trunk routes,” said SP Singh, convener, IFTRT.
Fleet operators, however, do expect the flip in manufacturing in July to continue during the next 4-6 weeks, and hence are still cautious on fleet expansion. “Truck operators are fairly satisfied about their fleet utilisation and their ability to pass on monthly diesel price hikes. The monthly diesel price hike in last 18 months has been absorbed/ passed on fairly smoothly by the road transport operators despite weak economic scenario of last 9 quarters,” said Singh.