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As we approach the end of Phase 3 of the Lockdown, India continues its fight against Covid-19. While the majority of Indians remain at home, the Supply Chain of Essential Goods has been kept running due to the hard work of transporters, truck-owners and most importantly, truck drivers. Over the last four weeks, the government has taken important steps to ease the movement of trucks to ensure supply of Essential Items in the country. Steps taken include:
- Allowing movement of loaded and empty trucks with 2 drivers and 1 helper
- Declaring truck driver’s Driving License as the truck’s pass
- Allowing movement of drivers from their homes to the trucks
- Allowing truck repair shops and dhabas to open alongside highways
(You can check our article on the above guidelines here: https://help.wheelseye.com/en/posts/1554/)
Progress till 25th April as per Empowered Group No.5 of the Government
As a part of the trucking community, it is important for truck-owners to be aware of the impact of the above steps. On 27th April, the Empowered Group No.5 presented its report on Improvements in Key Indicators of Supply Chain for Essential Items. Given below are some encouraging statistics from the report corresponding to the period between 30th March to 25th April:
- There has been significant improvement in movement of two essential items ie food and pharma. Mobility of trucks moving Food & Pharma has gone up from 46% to 76%.
- Rakes movement has hiked from 67% to 76%.
- Ports, which are critical junction points for logistics, have seen a rise in percentage of traffic handled from 70% to 87%.
- Moreover, percentage of major operational mandis increased from 61% to 79%.
The rise in mobility of trucks carrying food and pharma from 46% to 76% is a significant jump and should provide some hope to truck-owners. As per the government, the mobility percentage is increasing and expected to see further improvement in the coming days.
On-Ground Report from Stakeholders of Trucking Community
While the government’s account provides some reason for optimism, there are reports from industry bodies like All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) which say that out of 50 lakh trucks in the country, 16%-17% of them have plied on Indian roads in the last two days. From FASTag data, AIMTC estimates 2.5 lakh national permit-holding commercial trucks to have moved on Indian roads in the last couple of days.
Other grievances coming in from industry bodies include:
- Lack of demand for vehicles due to closure of factories / warehouses and lack of permissions for loading / unloading
- Treatment of trucks as warehouses by some factory owners (by refusing to take responsibility of goods lying inside the trucks)
- Limited implementation of Central Government guidelines at the local level: reports of harassment of drivers by local authorities / forced quarantine of fleet staff etc keep coming in
We had earlier published a report on how Chinese logistics had seen a rapid recovery as the Covid-19 situation improved in China – https://help.wheelseye.com/en/posts/1141/. Despite being a more complex nation, India has also seen steady improvement. Another statistic reflects the improvement in the Coronavirus situation in India – in the last 14 days, 85 districts in India haven’t reported a Coronavirus case (as per data on 27th April).
With more and more districts becoming free of Covid-19, the larger business community and specially, the logistics sector can start turning hopeful. Truck mobility is only going to increase from here as evidenced earlier in this article. As mandis, factories and warehouses start opening up further, truck-owners could expect to see a surge in demand for vehicles.
WheelsEye suggests the trucking community to be ready for such a recovery. And obviously, WheelsEye would be there to assist you in every way possible.
Meanwhile, also check out our article on how to take care of your truck during this lockdown! https://help.wheelseye.com/en/posts/2598/
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