Welcome to the customer facing supply chain

In the quest for competitive differentiation, we are beginning to see more and companies highlighting the merits of their supply chain.  While this tactic may not be ground-breaking in itself, the difference we’re now experiencing is that companies are exposing their supply chains directly to their customers, with capabilities that are intended to benefit the customer as opposed to just themselves.

National Minerals Strategy would cater for construction upsurge

Rail freight, which offers a key service to the construction industry, has seen an upsurge in rail borne demand for aggregates and cement.  Construction traffic increased by 17% during the year 2013/14 and continued to grow this year with a 9% increase over the previous year for the first quarter of 2014.  This growth has been driven by the following factors:

Can hauliers afford to pass on falling fuel prices to customers?

The combination of falling oil prices and economic recovery has created more positive conditions for the haulage industry than we have seen for almost a decade.  After years of continually rising fuel costs reducing profit margins to the limit, at last hauliers – and their customers – have some good news.

Since June 2014, global oil prices have been steadily falling from a high of £1.17 per litre to £0.85 per litre, resulting in lower prices for consumers and haulage companies for the first time since September 2009.

Is your attitude the real problem?

You wouldn’t think a saying from a fictional pirate would have much relevance in the real world, but sadly the quote attributed to Captain Jack Sparrow: “The problem is not the problem.  The problem is your attitude about the problem,” sums up one of the biggest challenges facing today’s supply chain: an inflexible mindset.

Too often the industry is constrained by its approach to supply chain problems, not the problems themselves.

Is it really so hard to see why drivers are difficult to find?

The driver shortage is critical, it’s not getting any better, and it is not so difficult to see why. It’s not about the money. Good rates are being offered across the industry, but I believe the problem is more closely related to the way drivers are regarded and treated. Do we, collectively, as consumers and as commercial organisations dependent on an efficiently run logistics sector, fully appreciate the increasing pressures, demands and constraints placed upon drivers in their everyday work?

Asset finance – the flexible option for business growth

Leasing commercial vehicles or buying through hire purchase makes good business sense, and the latest figures from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) bear this out.

In the ten months to October 2014, the finance extended to customers for this kind of asset grew by 18%, compared with the same period last year – and during the month of October 2014, it was up by 28%.

Chancellor continues fuel duty freeze but ‘could have done more’

When delivering his Autumn Statement to a packed House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that fuel duty is to remain frozen at 57.95 pence per litre, the level it has been at since 2011.

How is the CPC likely to continue to impact on the transport industry?

The passing of the five year deadline for the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) in September raises some important questions in the transport industry – most significantly, how will the legislation continue to affect the industry and those who work within it?

Do 3PLs offer the only solution to shared warehousing?

According to the Property Data Report 2013* there is £80 billion worth of warehousing in the UK.  But, at any one time, how much of it is lying dormant, unutilised?

HGV road user levy is a spectacular failure not a great success!

After years of campaigning by the British haulage industry for a ‘level playing field’ with Europe, the Government finally caved in on 1st April by introducing the HGV road user levy.  The levy is paid by all trucks running on British roads but is only an increase for foreign registered vehicles, as UK trucks have their vehicle excise duty rebated by the same amount.