The rising price of fuel is “an ongoing challenge” for transport and logistics firms working in the retail industry and other sectors, according to the Retail Business Unit Director of Norbert Dentressangle Peter Fuller.
Talking to Retail Gazette, the transport boss said that businesses in the sector must “carry on innovating” to ensure they keep their costs down in the face of operational price hikes.
He suggests that improving driver training, reducing vehicle mileage and making greater use of rail and vehicle metrics are among the ways Norbert and other companies in its sector can save money in the current climate.
Fuller’s comments come as today’s AA Fuel Price Report, conducted with Experian Catalist, showed that petrol prices reached a record high of 122.14p a litre last week.
Across the UK diesel now averages 126.19p a litre, which is up 3.12p on the same week last month, while the cost of filling up a diesel tank has increased significantly over the course of the year.
Commenting on the best way to be cost effective and counter overall price rises, Fuller said: “Greater collaboration between all parties within supply chain is the bigger win but it is the most difficult measure to deliver because a collaborative/competitive model is a real paradox!”
The truth is that there is very little that can be done about the price of petrol increasing, and the Norbert boss acknowledges businesses must then “work even harder in other parts of the supply chain” to reduce costs.
But surely decision makers in the UK can make the lives of those in the retail supply chain easier by developing different policies relating to the price of fuel?
In today’s statement, the AA called on the government to abandon January’s fuel duty increase and to cancel the +1p a litre inflation formula for fuel duty increases, especially with global oil prices currently so high.
Fuller agrees: “It is key that the government does all it can to stimulate a competitive environment in supply chain that champions and rewards innovation.
“Using a fuel escalator tax as a means of revenue generation is a blunt instrument used on an easy target that can do exactly the opposite.”