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Yesterday (on 17th May), the Central Government extended the Lockdown into a 4th phase, which will now continue till 31st May 2020.
Major takeaways to note for the trucking community are as below:
- State & UT Governments will be responsible for bifurcating zones into red, orange and green zones, on the basis of parameters shared by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare .
- Inter-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, with mutual consent of States and UTs have been permitted – this will help the stranded laborers and truck drivers to move across states. Moreover, the intra-state movement of passenger vehicles and buses, as decided by respective states, has also been permitted. (movement restrictions in and out of containment zones will however stay in place, except for medical emergencies and for the supply of essential goods)
- It has been reiterated that States/UTs shall allow inter-State movement of all types of goods/cargo; including empty trucks. Moreover, there can be no stoppage of the movement of goods or cargo for cross land border trade under Treaties with neighboring countries. (The above is to be noted by truckers.)
- A major takeaway for Truckers is that E-Commerce Delivery of Non-Essentials has been allowed for Red Zones as well. This should result in a spike in truck demand from the E-Commerce sector since many big cities / towns have been in the red zone and they happen to be huge sources of demand for this sector.
With inter-state travel of people having been allowed, one can expect a further rise in industrial activity, especially in factories and warehouses. This should increase the demand for trucks, thereby helping truckers to revive their cash-flows. Inter-state people movement should also help truckers to arrange for their drivers to return. This is an encouraging development and we would suggest truckers to prepare for a significant recovery in the next few weeks.
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