Truck rentals surge 13% in 6 weeks on fuel, tyre costs

CHENNAI: Rising fuel and tyre prices, coupled with an improvement in cargo availability, have resulted in a sharp increase in truck rentals in the last six weeks. According to S P Singh, senior fellow and coordinator at the Indian Foundation of Transport Research & Training (IFTRT), between January and February 16, truck rentals on trunk routes have gone up by 12-13%. Half of that hike came in the last fortnight itself.
Transporters say, apart from the fuel price increase, what has also pinched truckers is the rise in tyre prices. With tyre companies withdrawing discounts, buying a pair is now costlier by Rs 3,000-3,500 said Singh. Transporters are passing on both the fuel and the tyre cost to customers through higher rentals.

“Vegetables, fruits and food items have been travelling longer distances because it’s winter. There has been a 30-40% increase in items travelling to the APMCs,” said Singh. “There is also increased cargo from automobile companies, consumer durable makers and FMCG companies. So, transporters feel they can pass on the fuel price pinch on the rentals,” he added. FMCG cargo has gone up by 5-6% and cement & steel by 5-10%, said transporters.
The Delhi-Mumbai-Delhi trunk route rates, for example, have gone from an average of Rs 86,400 in January-December of 2019 to Rs 1,18,200 as on January 1, 2021, and then to Rs 1,25,300 on February 1, and further to Rs 1,31,000 on February 16, said Singh. Similarly, the Delhi-Chennai-Delhi route has increased from an average of Rs 1,17,900 in January-December 2019 to Rs 1,27,700 on January 1 this year, then Rs 1,37,900 on February 1 and around Rs 1,44,000 on February 16.

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