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Report suggests hauliers are selling themselves short

By: Dave Robbins
26 October 2012


As many as 90% of UK hauliers don’t fully understand their true operating costs. That’s the conclusion in a report compiled by logistics and transport consultancy, DFF International.


Based on a 44-tonne artic covering 70,000 miles per year at an average of 8 miles per gallon, the DFF International report calculates that, subject to the route, rates charged should vary from £2.13-£2.47 per mile. A recent article in ‘Motor Transport’ showed that some hauliers are being paid as little as £1.10 per mile for backloads.


To reach its conclusions DFF focused on three daily routes of 100, 200 and 280 miles as well as a 600-mile two day route. It factored in a daily standing cost of £340 and a distance related cost of 85p per mile based on a bulk fuel price of just over 114p per litre. The calculations assume a 240-day working year with a 5% margin factored in.


According to the report, reasons behind the mis-match in pricing and actual operating costs occur because many operators don’t monitor the number of days their vehicles are working. This changes weekly and has an effect on the proportion of annual standing costs attributable to each trip. Other operators are failing to take account of their total overheads.


Brian Fish, the managing director of DFF International is a former haulage firm operator. Commenting on the report’s findings, he said: “Most hauliers have systems that accurately measure distance-related costs such as fuel, tyres and maintenance. What they don’t grasp is the utilisation factor or their total overheads.”


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