Localised lockdowns, muted demand owing to the second wave of Covid-19, have led to a decline in sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles last month, the logistics research body said.
Out of 1.4 million M&HCV trucks on national permit and 2.5 million on inter- State permits operating on medium and long haulage, fleet is underutilised by almost 40% resulting in financial crisis for fleet owners and stress on repayment of EMIs, it said.
Further, sales of M&HCV trucks have nose dived in April this year on a month-on-month basis.
India on Monday morning reported 3,68,147 fresh cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, taking the cumulative caseload to 1,99,25,604, as per official data from the health ministry.
While the Centre has been ruling out a nationwide lockdown, several state governments have introduced curbs on movement of people for non-essential works to check cases. Several States including Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, grapple with an acute shortage of oxygen for Covid-19 patients.
The direct impact of covid-19 spreading all over the country including rural India has created a massive crisis for the economy and the dependent business of road transport on trade , commerce , industry and agriculture, which consists 90% of small truck ownerships, has been hardest hit, IFTRT has observed on 75 key truck and trade centres in the country .
The trend in declining sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles will continue as manufacturing and infrastructure projects slow down. “The truck freight and sales shall remain timid for current and most likely for next quarter of current fiscal as Centre Government seems to be groping in dark to salvage trade, commerce and industry without any specific dependable financial aid package particularly for MSME trade and manufacturers to lift the economy..” it said.
Routes like Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi, Delhi-Nagpur-Delhi, Delhi-Kolkata-Delhi, Delhi-Guwahati-Delhi and Delhi-Hyderabad-Delhi have seen around 20% decline in rentals. Round trips from Delhi to Ranchi have also seen a 27% decline in the rentals. Delhi-Kandla-Delhi has seen a drop of 25% in rentals.