Getting goods from A to B on time and in good condition is not always plain sailing. Here’s how to overcome the 3 basic challenges for completing transport contracts profitably. |
Continental European fuel prices continue to be lower than those in the UK and, despite fuel duty remaining frozen for the sixth year at 57.96p a litre, it’s still the highest in Europe. It’s worth remembering (not that you could forget…) that 20% VAT is payable on those fuels too.
These high fuel prices are a constant pressure on UK haulage companies.
How do we tackle this?
Regular maintenance and servicing is essential, as tyres which are underinflated and subpar engine oil both lead to higher fuel consumption. Avoid idling, load properly, and don’t brake or accelerate rapidly.
Regular reviewing of routes is key in finding the most efficient route possible, which in turn reduces fuel costs. The most efficient route is not always the shortest— time spent idle in heavy traffic or stuck because of roadworks on motorways is going to use more fuel than taking an alternative route would.
Crucial in streamlining logistics businesses, technology solutions can help cut costs and make filling transport contracts that much easier.
Pallet track and trace allows you to check on the location, routing and expected delivery time of individual pallets within the UK and Europe from your desktop or handheld device, saving you the headache of manually attempting to work out where it is and when it will arrive.
The Internet of Things (iot) is also making waves for all the right reasons. It’s all about interconnecting devices through the internet to enable them to send and receive data in what’s known as sensing and sense making. Sensing is essentially keeping tabs on different assets along the supply chain whilst sense making analyses the data produced by the sensing in order to provide useful insights and produce new solutions.
Customer service is central in ensuring you retain transport contracts. Thanks to the surge in B2C companies offering next day delivery services, B2B clients are increasingly expecting quicker and quicker deliveries – which we know is not always realistic.
Transparency in dealing with clients helps to alleviate these unrealistic expectations to give you more breathing space to fill your contracts. Furthermore, optimising warehouse windows to keep them as consistent as possible helps to improve customer satisfaction.
Another issue to juggle in the transport contracts arena is that when it comes to long distance deliveries, speedy delivery times need to be balanced against driver welfare and road safety. Long distance delivery can be streamlined with a super-efficient pallet distribution network and a greater quantity of hubs, routes and transport partners to better meet customer demands and their high expectations.
Three Basic Issues, Three Solutions
These issues affect every aspect of the industry, but by tackling them head on as outlined above you’ll find yourself on the road to success.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching drivers with transport contracts. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
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