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Truck freight charges up 20 per cent, may fuel price rise

With the oil marketing companies hiking the fuel prices for the 11th consecutive day on Wednesday, the transporters have hiked the freight charges by 10 to 20 per cent, which in turn could have a cascading effect on the prices of essential commodities like vegetables, fruits and groceries.

Truck freight charges up 20 per cent, may fuel price rise


A litre of petrol now costs Rs 80.86 in Chennai and diesel Rs 73.69. Since June 7, the petrol prices have gone up by Rs 5.32 a litre and diesel by Rs 5.47 a litre.

“We have increased the freight charges for goods including vegetables and fruits by up to 20 per cent. We have no other option as the cost of diesel has now gone up by over Rs 5 a litre,” said S Yuvaraj, spokesperson, All India Motor Transport Congress.

The lorries running on contract basis will have a clause in the agreement to hike the charge if the diesel price is hiked by Rs 2 a litre, he said. In protest against the fuel price hike, the truckers would stage a silent protest outside the IOCL office on Thursday, he said.

VR Soundararajan, a wholesale vegetable merchant said with the increase in transportation charges, the prices of vegetables from Karnataka would go up by Rs 3 per kilogram.

“We get spices from Kerala, most of the vegetables from Karnataka, dals from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, and onions from Maharashtra. If the freight charges go up, the price of essentials too will go up,” he said.

D Manivannan, president of Koya-mbedu Food Grain Traders’ Association said the transportation charges were hiked from Tuesday.

“We used to send loads of apple and orange to Hyderabad from Chennai at a cost of Rs 24,000. Now it has gone up to Rs 28,000-29,000. Similarly, the freight cost for 15 tonnes of garlic from Madhya Pradesh was Rs 60,000. It has gone up to Rs 66,000,” he said.

Some expect the hike in diesel prices to not immediately translate into a rise in fruit and vegetable rates but squeeze farmers’ margins. “In the mandis (wholesale market), price is determined by demand and supply. If supply goes down, prices will move. For an average farmer, if the transport cost of a truck of vegetables was Rs 10,000 earlier, it is now Rs 11,000,” said M Thyagarajan, president, Koyambedu Vegetables, Fru-its & Flowers Merchants Association.

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