Freight rates, truck sales dip on muted industrial activity
The freight rates (per 9 tonnes) in the Delhi-Mumbai sector dipped 8%, Delhi-Kolkata was down by 2% and Delhi-Chennai by 3% in 2012, Bloomberg data showed. Muted industrial activity and delay in agricultural output are seen as the reasons behind the fall in rates.
Freight movement has a direct link to the sales of medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs). According to a January 9 report by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, there has been a 22.2% fall in sales in the M&HCV segment in April-December 2012 to 1.64 lakh units.
Tata Motors, India’s largest CV maker, witnessed a 28% fall in its goods carrier sales during April-December 2012.
Tata Motors sold 95,864 units in April-December 2012 as against 1.33 lakh units in the same period last year.
Ashok Leyland saw a 12% fall in its truck sales between April-December 2012. The company sold 35,965 units in April-December 2012 against 40,890 units last year.
"We do not see any meaningful addition to fleet capacity unless there is a revival of investment and subsequent capital formation," said Sudarshan Shreenivas, associate director (corporates) at India Ratings and Research, part of rating agency Fitch.
The Delhi-Ahmedabad route, on the other hand, beat the trend to register a 21% increase in freight rates. "The northern region, including Delhi and Ahmedabad,