Factory output too remained supportive by way of brisk cargo offerings, said Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training, the apex body tracking the industry for more than two decades.
Despite a drop of Re 1.90 a litre in diesel prices as well beginning of widespread monsoon, the truck rentals on the main trunk routes across the country remained firm at the peak rates in June, thereby maintaining its previous hike of 5.5% in May.
The truckers were able to maintain the peak rates during June on the back of a 25% increase in the arrivals of fruits and vegetables into the market.
Factory output too remained supportive by way of brisk cargo offerings, said Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training (IFTRT), the apex body tracking the industry for more than two decades.
During the month, APMCs saw 25% higher arrivals of fruits and vegetables across the country with mango fruit season being at its peak and also brisk cargo offerings from major manufacturing centres. Significantly, the monsoon has covered the entire country but still did not have much adverse impact on the truck fleet movement on trunk routes in most parts of the country.
Even a 40% increase in sale of high tonnage intermediate goods carriages and multi-axle vehicles during June 2018 did not come in way in the truck freight market, IFTRT pointed out.
The two-day truckers strike in several states protesting against diesel price hikes and third party motor insurance premium also helped the truck rentals to remain stubborn during the entire month contrary to the predictions that continuous migration from low tonnage heavy trucks to high tonnage multi-axle trucks by fleet owners in terms of new purchases shall suppress the truck rentals.
The much acclaimed increase in turnaround time of trucks on various key trunk routes post implementation of intra-state and inter-state e-way bill under GST has not created any significant impact on real transit time and did not expectedly put truck freight business under any noticeable stress, the foundation said further.
The truck sales have been booming for last 8-10 months as truckers are migrating from low tonnage ICVs and HCVs to BS-IV fuel efficient high tonnage ICVs and multi-axle trucks to moderate their variable operating cost due to fluctuations in diesel price.
Now, in the last one week, the international brent crude price has sharply increased to $77.70/bbl and rupee has depreciated to Rs 68.58/$, which will lead to yet another round of diesel price hike in coming days when OMCs fuel basket price will be passed on at their retail outlets.
One thing which has emerged clear in several parts of the country is that unions and supply brokers have been engaging in some sort of firmness to keep the truck rentals and retail parcel freight charges artificially pegged at high level despite fall in diesel prices during June 2018 and moreover have been able to pass on more than the increase in diesel price by way of truck rentals rise in May 2018.