More driver training under way…. but freight costs set to increase
IT IS GREAT TO SEE THE INDUSTRY GET BEHIND THE NEW Commercial Road Transport (CRT) programme, which started recently at Manukau Institute of Technology. Already some students have done two months of practical experience with Envirowaste and are about to start another block with the Toll Group.
They have gained their class two licences after the initial section of classroom work. NRC is happy to work with MIT to get more trained drivers into our industry.
Other companies, including Halls Transport, Waste Management, C.V. Compton Transport, TDM Construction, Mainstream Freight and OJI Fibre Solutions, have all put up their hands to provide practical on-the-job experience for CRT programme students.
The practical experience involves one day a week and will continue to the end of the year. The variety of transport companies coming forward to host students is a positive, as they need to experience the different kinds of trucking operations that can potentially be their future fulltime jobs.
Similar courses are already running at Toi Ohomai Polytechnic at Tauranga; North Tec, Whangarei; Eastern Institute of Technology at Gisborne; Whitireia Polytech, Porirua and Southern Institute of Technology, Invercargill.
Plans are well under way to establish further CRT programmes at Ara Polytech, Timaru and in Christchurch, Hawke’s Bay and Hamilton.
These courses provide the mix of classroom activity to meet regulations and the initial practical experience the students need and the industry wants to employ.
Encouraged by the initial response, MIT is already looking to double the number of students on its next course, which will start early in 2019.
Apart from the need for more trained drivers, the other big issue facing the road transport industry is the spectre of cost increases.
Road user charges have just gone up – some by as much as 10%, depending on the weight and type of vehicle.
This will affect every trucking company nationwide. When the majority of goods we consume are delivered by trucks to where they’re purchased, it is inevitable the cost of the goods will increase.
Other cost increases facing road transport operators include rising fuel prices, insurance, wages and salaries, congestion and waiting times at the ports.
Auckland- based companies are already paying 11.5 cents per litre extra for fuel. A nationwide general fuel excise tax increase by nine to 12 cents over the next two years is also on the horizon.
As an industry we cannot be expected to keep absorbing operational cost increases of this magnitude, all the time. We have to pass it on to our customers.
There have also been increases in insurance premiums and higher wages and salaries necessary to retain staff in an industry where there are personnel shortages.
Our costs are rising. It’s up to individual companies to calculate how much their cost increases might be. In some parts of the country it could be more than in other areas.
A successful company is one that is still in business. That means recovering all your costs from customers, otherwise you will struggle to provide the services they expect.
Finally, congratulations to all the inductees to the Hall of Fame – in particular, Calven Bonney...longtime National Road Carriers Association member, board member and RTF Director.
This is great recognition for the contribution Calven has made to the industry and comes on top of him being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit earlier in the year. T&D