Courtesy of The Economic Times, April 7, 2020
World’s Biggest Lockdown Brings Trucks to a Standstill
The world’s biggest lockdown has brought the transportation of goods in India to a near halt, even though the central government has exempted the sector from restrictions to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Daily movement of trucks has collapsed to less than 10% of normal levels, according to All India Motor Transport Congress, an umbrella body of goods vehicle operators representing about 10 million truckers. Road transport accounts for about 60% of freight traffic in India and 87% of its passenger traffic, according to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
Trucking has emerged as a major chokepoint in global supply chains for everything from food to medical supplies as governments take stringent steps to contain the pandemic, restricting the movement of vehicles and people to drive them. The collapse in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi imposed a three-week lockdown on the nation’s 1.3 billion people March 25, is a harbinger of the damage the measures are wreaking on the economy amid forecasts that the country could see its first contraction in at least two decades.
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