On 6th June, Auto Express posted an excellent overview about the impact of rising fuel costs on the UK this year, observing that:
“The price of petrol and diesel at UK pumps is continuing to increase, with no sign of slowing.
“The latest RAC Fuel Watch figures peg the average price of petrol at 178.50p per litre, while diesel sits at 185.20p per litre.”
A major reason for this fuel crisis has been the catastrophic conflict in Europe:
“With Russia having launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and facing international sanctions, there’s potential for significant disruption to supplies. Russia produces 4.5 million barrels of oil each day, and only Saudi Arabia produces more.”
However, the report highlights other concurrent issues:
“Experts predict high fuel costs will be with us for the foreseeable future, and it’s not just down to the crisis in Ukraine - energy costs have been high for the best part of a year already as demand surged as the world emerged from lockdown.”
Commenting in a BBC News report on June 7th, Rod McKenzie, from the Road Haulage Association (RHA), said: "Fuel represents over a third of a trucks operating costs yet profit margins are between 1% and 2%.
"To put this into perspective, the average 44 tonne truck gets less than two miles from a litre of fuel. That's why every penny increase makes a massive difference and as such, every penny must be made to count."
Initiatives to Reduce Fuel Consumption
Making every penny count is an ongoing priority for all responsible transport and logistics companies, to keep their businesses competitive while maintaining the optimum levels of service to their customers. We have a comprehensive and holistic strategy that has proved to be successful over years of application.
Relay fuel management policies include:
Strategic fleet acquisition: Relay’s Mercedes-Benz fleet is comprised of over 60 modern fuel-efficient vehicles that meet the needs of both open road and urban collections and deliveries. We have also had a policy of increasing load capacity to reduce the number of journeys made and therefore fuel used.
Multiple loading: As part of our policy to limit the number of journeys made in our collection and delivery operations, we are always looking for ways to combine multiple loads for the same, or different customers.
Rigorous journey planning: An accurate logistical analysis of the route from A to B, with perhaps multiple stops in between, is an important aspect of minimising fuel consumption. Delays and deviations build up fuel usage as well as causing disruption to schedules.
Detailed site surveys: Advanced information of any challenges posed by an end-user delivery site, such as difficulties of access or parking, is vital to an efficient outcome to any project.
Ongoing driver training: Relay conducts ongoing driver training and assessment programmes, focusing on safety and reduction in fuel consumption. For instance, since 2016 Relay’s fleet has been supplied with software that gains information from the engine’s diagnostic system to determine how vehicles are being driven.
What we can and can’t do
Unfortunately, we have no control over the price of fuel at the pumps nor the rising costs of energy that affect businesses in every sector.
However, what we can and are doing is initiate policies that limit operating costs and minimise any negative effects that our activities have on the environment. While doing so, we are also committed to offering our customers the high quality white glove delivery services they expect and deserve. These aims are what motivates the Relay team every day of the week!