Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Aug 7 (ANI): A moderate recovery for sea and road transport is underway post the easing of lockdown restrictions while air transport remains severely stressed, according to India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra).
India's ports volumes recovered by 80 to 85 per cent of normal levels in June post a sharp 21 to 23 per cent year-on-year drop in volumes during April and May.
Imports have been severely hit while exports have recovered to the pre-COVID levels, said Ind-Ra in the first edition of its credit news digest on India's logistics sector.
Road transport volumes may also have recovered as indicated by the e-way bill collection and diesel consumption being at about 85 per cent of the pre-COVID levels.
However, air transport is reeling under pressure with passenger traffic practically at nil levels and freight traffic at 60 per cent of the normal levels in May.
The overall major port volumes declined 15 per cent year-on-year in June as against 21 to 23 per cent decline in the preceding two months supported by a 26 per cent jump in iron ore export from eastern ports.
Imports have remained sluggish while a rebound in export to pre-COVID level led to India's import-export mix changing to 58:38 (4 per cent for transhipment) in June from the normal split of 65:30.
Dwell time for import containers at JNPT Port rose three times in May (65 hours versus normal run-rate of 20 to 30 hours), although recovering to 38 hours in June.
The market share of rail rose sharply over the five months ended June to around 25 per cent (normal run-rate of about 15 per cent) due to the shortage of truck drivers and a significant reduction in railway haulage time as passenger trains were not running.
However, two indicators for road volumes -- e-way bill collection and diesel consumption -- have already recovered to about 85 per cent of their normal levels, indicating that rail may have already conceded its market share gains to road in the last two months.
Freight differential between rail and road remained stable with rail freight rates stable at Rs 1.8 per tonne per km while road freight rates remained elevated at Rs 2.6 per tonne per km.
Standalone truck operators are likely to remain under pressure, given that diesel prices have risen by about 27 per cent in the last two months, while freight rates have remained stable. (ANI)