Monday, October 10, 2011

UK Freight Forwarders Urged to Support Fair Fuel Lobby

Logistics Industry Bodies Align Behind Campaign
Shipping News Feature

UK – The row over the price of fuel continues and shows no sign of abating. This week it is the British International Freight Association (BIFA) the trade association and voice of UK freight forwarders, urging its members to support the FairFuelUK campaign saying that ongoing uncertainty over fuel prices is one of the biggest concerns of its members, which, in the UK, pay the highest diesel taxes in Europe. BIFA Director General, Peter Quantrill commented:

“Whilst Chancellor George Osborne’s comment in his 2011 Budget statement that Fuel Duty was to be reduced by 1 penny a litre was a step in the right direction, no-one should forget that two fuel duty rate increases are planned for 2012, the first in January, the second in April deferred to August.

“The inescapable fact is that in order to deliver customers’ cargo, road haulage plays an important part in the supply chain. Much is made of increased rail and short sea usage, but these modes often require road to make the final delivery. Based on industry figures, a typical 44 tonne truck and trailer averages 7.5 miles per gallon and covers 70,000 miles a year. In total this typical truck will use 42,439 litres of diesel in the course of the year.

“UK fuel prices rose by 15% between October 2010 and the same month in 2011, and fuel now equates to between 30-45% of a vehicle’s operating cost. The simplest way to understand the situation is that for every penny increase the truck costs an additional £424 per annum to operate. The anticipated 6 pence per litre will increase costs by £2,544 per annum or £48.92 per week. These increases are particularly unfair because the Government’s VAT yield increases when prices rise.

“Previously, BIFA has asked the Government to consider the introduction of an essential user rebate and abolish plans to increase fuel duty and it is important that BIFA Members become actively engaged and support the current FairFuelUK Campaign. This campaign is only the third to receive 100,000 signatures on the Government's e-petitions website since it was set up to give the public a more direct influence on Westminster. The number of signatures gained since it was set up in July was an indication of the strength of feeling surrounding the issue and I hope the Government takes notice and sets up a Royal Commission on the issue and a full parliamentary debate.

“BIFA believes that to maximise the possibility of reversing these decisions to increase duty rates, our members must add their voices to those of other trade associations and we are urging them to keep up the pressure by signing the e-petition.”

According to Road Haulage Association (RHA) calculations, currently fuel duty is 57.75 pence per litre. During 2012; the duty rate will rise by 10.7%. On the 1st January the duty rate will increase by 3.02 to 60.97 pence per litre. In August there will be a second increase in line with the Retail Price Index, which will add between 2.19 and 3.03 pence per litre to the cost of a litre of diesel.

Readers who wish to do so can sign up for the FairFuel campaign HERE.