Supporting Members With Costs is a Key RHA Priority

Supporting Members With Costs is a Key RHA Priority

19 Sep 2023 Posted By Joe Scotting

Increasing cost pressures are a reality our industry has had to withstand in recent years. Last year our members told us that the cost of operating a 44-tonne lorry had shot up by 19 percent.

Spiralling fuel prices were a significant contributor to above-inflation rises after record highs last summer. Operators have had some relief in recent months with fuel prices falling but August saw the biggest increases in more than 20 years according to RAC Fuel Watch. And there could be more to come.

Supporting our industry on costs and regulation is a key RHA priority.

From vehicle cost, pay, tyres, fuel, insurance and overheads combined with the return of the HGV levy, transport operating costs have gone up – outstripping inflation.

Operators are left with two stark choices: absorb the costs or pass them on.

Some electric trucks cost three times more than their diesel equivalents – making it difficult for firms to invest. Many are reluctant – or just can’t afford – to take a leap of faith on whether to go electric or opt for other alternative fuels.

Added to a lack of charging infrastructure, range-anxiety and with other factors at play, many firms don’t know what to do for the best. This is why we’ve convened our Net Zero Forum to work with our members, industry, manufacturers, government, and others on charting a way forward.

In the meantime, how can operators insulate themselves from future inflationary and cost shocks? There are no easy answers. But there are a number of things we’re campaigning on that could help, and which bake in wider societal and economic benefits.

Plugging skills gaps and building the foundations for a future workforce is a priority – training more mechanics is crucial given a growing shortage.

Fuel is a big chunk of a member’s operating costs. Continuing freezes on fuel duty can help.

More investment in improving our roads will keep traffic moving, reducing journey times and costs.

Commercial vehicles are economic enablers – essential and irreplaceable cogs in a complex, interconnected supply chain that sits at the heart of everything.

The huge operating cost increases are therefore not niche or parochial considerations. They affect the prices on our shelves – our cost of living.

Join in the conversation on social media: #RHACostsAndRegulation #NetZeroForum

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