Truck rentals in March firmed up by about 4% year-on-year. This was in spite of stable diesel prices, which indicates improved demand for transportation of goods. A note by the Indian Foundation of Transport Research and Training says that there has been a 15-20% increase in transport of vegetables, fruits and agricultural products from a year ago, and 8-10% growth in industrial cargo. Hence, fleet utilization has improved.
Overall rentals during fiscal year 2017 rose by about 10%, a positive sign for the commercial vehicle industry. Domestic sales during the year grew by 5-6% compared to 11.5% in the previous year. The slowdown in growth was partly due to events such as the note ban that led to a temporary cash crunch, affecting road transporters significantly, and also due to the BS-IV emission norms that increased the cost of owning a truck.