TPN MD Mark Duggan has warned freight customers to choose their transport partners with particular care to ensure sustainable and high-quality service as the sector faces increased market pressures.
â€œFreight volumes are higher than ever for the pallet network sector, but the transport industry is under more cost and operational pressure than ever before,â€ he says. â€œIt is very important now that customers understand these pressures and choose a transport supplier they can genuinely work with in partnership, so that their service to their customers remains unaffected.â€
The haulage industry is already short of 45,000 HGV drivers and may lose more as a result of Brexit. This has pushed wage costs up, particularly for agency drivers. Diesel costs have also climbed by almost 10% since January.
â€œOur Members face higher costs at a time when they must also invest more resources than ever before so that service levels do not falter,â€ says Duggan.
He says it is important that freight customers look beyond the cost of transport to the quality of their provider.
â€œWhen costs rise, a customerâ€™s instinct is often to choose the cheapest provider. However fuel and driver wages are not costs anyone can avoid â€“ so â€˜cheapâ€™ hauliers are likely to stop investing, stop training and, ultimately, stop delivering good service,â€ he says.
â€œA freight ownerâ€™s biggest value is their customer base,â€ he says. â€œAnd we know customer retention is disproportionately affected by the quality and reliability of your delivery service. It is very important that customers work with their transport providers now to ensure a sustainable plan for 2019, which puts the security of their business and their customer service first and foremost.â€
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