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Old 5th January 2016, 09:48   #1
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Default Why freight moves so slowly on Indian roads

Here an article in the Business Standard published on 5th January, about the journalist's experience of traveling on a truck from Delhi to Mumbai and I thought it's worth reading.
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Old 5th January 2016, 11:56   #2
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Default Re: Why freight moves so slowly on Indian roads

Dear Motard

Thanks for the post.

Though the reading did not excite me a lot.
All these points shared by the author looked pretty mundane and known.

You dont really require a 5 day trip to know these points.
I will give you an insight learnt from the truckers during a recent session for my company.
  • Almost 50% truckers are the owners of the trucks.
  • Truckers are normally provided a daily allowance known as "batha". In Maharasthra, it ranges between Rs, 250- Rs. 300/- per day and is basically a daily food allowance.
  • They also save a bit on the "batha" by cooking themselves on stoves they carry along
  • Truckers normally prefer to eat a veg. meal before a long journey and contrary to popular belief, avoid too much "binging" on desi daru.
  • Normal efficiency of a multi axle is 2.5-3 kmpl and the truckers try to derive about 4 kmpl by following mainly speed tactics(not exceeding 40 kmph).
  • Another way of making money is to also pick up passengers on the way. Sometimes, a half truck may also load other stuff and charge for it.
  • Skipping toll is another money making tactic
  • Fuel filling at areas with cheaper rates is an old tactic and is predominant.

Last edited by arnabchak : 5th January 2016 at 11:57.
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Old 5th January 2016, 12:35   #3
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Default Re: Why freight moves so slowly on Indian roads

I second Arnab. I am into cargo loss control & deal with transporters & logistics providers day-in-day-out.
IMO, the journalist has conveniently skipped part where truck drivers steal/sell part of cargoes, especially with cargo like RICE (as indeed recorded on the article) and FMCG. In fact any type of cargo that can be sold conveniently or has High Market Value.
A driver who has smartphone, blue-tooth & girlfriend (PUN INTENDED) will not stop at making few hundred rupees by saving diesel.
Oh and did I forgot to mention the adulteration of diesel with Kerosene.

May I recommend for better read.

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Old 5th January 2016, 12:51   #4
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Default Re: Why freight moves so slowly on Indian roads

It is a four-axle truck, driven by Rajesh Balai (name changed), who has driven on this route, National Highway-8, for two decades
Balai, 35, had entered Delhi late that previous night and exited early morning after loading his truck.
So Balai started driving a heavy vehicle at the age of 15.
It is good for what ever reasons they keep the speed below 45kmph. This definitely saves lot of lives on Indian roads
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Old 6th January 2016, 16:35   #5
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Default Minimum HP Requirement in HCVs

A common sight all over Indian highways is overloaded, extremely slow moving trucks, often two-three abreast trying to overtake each other.

Say the Government of India was to mandate a minimum horsepower requirement for all heavy commercial vehicles in India, that would enable them to move at at least 50-60kmph without much effort - do you think this would have a significant impact on the transport sector?

I see the following pros:
- Faster movement of goods across the country
- Higher utilization of HCVs resulting in higher revenue generation per HCV (for example 2 trips completed in one week as opposed to 1 would lead to higher revenue generation)
- Drop in freight rates due to the higher utilization
- Driver comfort

- Poorly trained drivers having powerful engines at their disposal driving rashly, leading to higher accident rates
- Possible increase in freight rates due to the short term impact of R&D costs associated with new engines being passed on to the end consumer.

I truly believe this might be a positive step in the long run. Would appreciate your thoughts on this idea.
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