UK – News from the Freight Transport Association this week centres on the ever rising costs for the typical British haulage outfit. The government sensibly asked the FTA to represent the logistics sector as part of its drive to reduce bureaucracy, the ‘Red Tape Challenge’, and Theo de Pencier, the association’s CEO, saw the invitation as a golden opportunity to put forward the transport industry’s views on how to cut red tape, and save time and money.
The FTA has now come up with several proposals which include:
i) Urgent review of the London Lorry Control Scheme to incentivise uptake of quieter vehicles and mitigate the restrictions faced by operators during Olympics 2012
ii)The removal of mobile workers from the Working Time Directive
iii)Removal of the requirement to carry the CPC Drivers’ Card
iv)Reduce the age limit for vocational drivers to 17 years
v)Revisit the need for paper VED and O-licence discs
vi)Increase the weight threshold for vehicles affected by the Road Vehicle Lighting Regulations from 2,500 to 3,500kgs
Mr de Pencier comments:
“It’s not less regulation we want, but better regulation. For example, it is clearly barmy to insist vans leave their lights on while they are parked up overnight, but for larger vehicles, where the drain on the battery is not as significant, it is sensible.
“While many of these less-than-helpful regulations stem from Europe, it is still within the gift of government agencies to find imaginative ways to mitigate some of their worst effects and we welcome the efforts made to get an accurate picture of what those of us at the sharp end feel about them.”
In addition to their new role against unnecessary bureaucracy the FTA has continued its fight to see the cost of fuel reduced in what it considers the most important issue facing the average truck operation in the country today. The organisation’s publication ‘FTA’s Manager’s Guide to Distribution Costs 2011’ calculates that the cost of diesel for commercial vehicle fleets rose by 15.6 per cent in the twelve months to 1 April 2011.
The second biggest increase was in the cost of overheads, followed by vehicle maintenance. The total rise in vehicle operating costs to 6.8 per cent outstripped the rise in domestic haulage rates, which increased by an average of 3.41 per cent. International haulage rates increased on average by 5.40 per cent. Bruce Goodhart, FTA Research Analyst, commented:
“The high and rising cost of fuel continues to put companies under considerable financial pressure. With haulage rates failing to keep up with increasing vehicle operating costs, profit margins are being squeezed and jobs put at risk, hampering economic recovery.”
The Manager’s Guide to Distribution Costs is produced annually based on data supplied to FTA by a survey of member companies in April each year. The data on wages, vehicle operating costs and haulage rates is then updated quarterly. For more information on the Guide contact the FTA’s Cost Information Service team via email at firstname.lastname@example.org