Truckers’ strike hits auto, FMCG, textiles, e-commerce sectors

Trucks stuck at the Vashi APMC Truck terminal in Navi Mumbai. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty/File)

The nationwide truckers’ strike, which entered the eighth day today, has impacted industries such as e-commerce, FMCG and automobile, besides hitting the supply of cotton, grains and spices. The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) started the indefinite strike on July 20, with demands to reduce diesel prices by bringing it under the GST and reforming the “flawed and non-transparent” toll collection system.

E-commerce major Amazon said the strike has affected its product deliveries in some cities. “Owing to the ongoing difficulties caused by the strike, the delivery of products in a few cities has been impacted and we are working closely with these customers to get their orders to them quickly,” its spokesperson said.

Flipkart, however, declined to comment on the issue.

FMCG major Dabur India’s executive director -operations, Sharukh Khan, said the company had put in place appropriate measures and ensured adequate inventories to meet the demand in anticipation of the strike.

“However, if the strike continues, the entire industry would be staring at supply disruptions,” he warned.

Vinay Singh Kushwaha, vice-president – supply chain, Britannia said the prolonged strike has adversely impacted both inbound and outbound stock movements.

“This has resulted in a complete slow-down of sales over the last few days. The situation is getting out of hand and need a quick resolution,” he added.

Kushwaha said the strike has also resulted in factory stoppages in some locations leading to idle manpower and associated issues, and warned that if the situation does not improve, “we will have irreversible losses”.

Industry body Assocham today said the strike has already caused direct and indirect estimated loss worth over Rs 50,000 crore to the economy, with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) being worst affected.

Automobile industry body SIAM today said companies have had to adjust production as the strike affected both parts supplies and distribution of vehicles.

“Our members are facing unprecedented crisis as it is affecting the movement of vehicles and components supply because of the strike,” Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) deputy director general Sugato Sen said in a statement today.

Cotton Textiles Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) chairman Ujwal Lahoti said the transport strike has started adversely affecting textiles exports. “There is sharp disruption in the movement of raw materials to the factories and finished goods to the ports for exports,” he added.

Lahoti said there are strict shipment schedules given by the foreign buyers for exports and many of the textiles exporters will miss these schedules which may result in the loss of export orders. Cotton Association of India (CAI) president Atul Ganatra said ginning factories are on the verse of closing down because of the lack of raw material.

“The traders are not able to move the cotton sold and in turn all payments are stuck up due to non-movement of yarn,” said Ganatra.

Anil Chavan, secretary, Agricultural Produce Market Committee, Mumbai, said the grains and spices market were affected due to the transport strike, with only 12 trucks and tempos of spices and 145 trucks and tempos of grains arriving at the mandi today till 4 pm, compared with 193 for spices and 308 for grains on July 20.

Similarly, in vegetables, 612 trucks and tempos arrived in the mandi today, compared with 636 on July 20.

However, Chavan said fruits and vegetables supply remained unaffected during the strike.

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