With fuel prices still within 3pence of the record high set in May this year and duty increases planned for 2012, the cost of transporting goods is set to skyrocket. The public are outraged at the increase in their cost of travelling, but to delivery and courier service companies, the hikes may hit even harder.
Despite scrapping the fuel duty escalator proposed last year, the government are still planning a fuel duty increase of 3 pence per litre (which was postponed in April) in January, expanding on the charge that already accounts for 43% of the cost of fuel. These increases will push the overall price of petrol up by nearly 3%; the average cost of refuelling a car will increase by £1.50 whilst filling up an average van will increase from £80.46 to £82.26. MP’s debated the issue described by some as a “tax on hard working Britons” on 15th November after the Fair Fuel UK e-petition reached 100,000 signatures; though Vince Cable has warned drivers that, given state of the treasury they shouldn’t expect “freebies”.
These increases impact heavily on consumers no doubt, but an even larger blow will be felt by small, independent couriers and man and van operators who spend their whole day on the road, covering thousands of miles per week transporting important personal and commercial packages.
The future also holds some steep charges to be levelled at van drivers in the capital. The London Emission Zone has proposed new fines from 3rd January the typical man with a van can expect to pay charges of £250-500 per day in a wide area around the capital, not to mention parking rates and congestion charges; these charges will drastically impact the cost of deliveries in London.
Daryll Middleton, Business Development Manager of Shiply.com, an online transport marketplace with more than 40,000 delivery and removal companies as members said: “This may be the final blow that will put many businesses across the logistics industry into closure, especially among the small/medium firms that have already struggled their way through what has been an extremely tough year.”
Founded in 2008, Shiply.com matches people needing to move goods with transport companies going there anyway. Over 25% of lorries run completely empty of cargo and over 50% run only part-full. By enabling consumers and businesses to make use of this spare capacity, Shiply.com dramatically cuts down on CO2 emissions, increases the profitability of transport companies and saves the consumer up to 75%.