Fleets hit the road in cost-savings survey

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

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Fleets hit the road in cost-savings survey
Study could identify big potential reductions of transport costs

Fleet managers could achieve substantial savings by taking part in a government survey designed to benchmark participants against the best on the UK's roads.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned the UK Food and Drinks Transport Costs Survey, expected to take place in late February 2007, as part of its strategy for Sustainable Distribution. Participants should see a report about a month later.

So far, 109 transport fleets, with almost 4,000 vehicles, have expressed an interest, said the project manager Graham Stubbs of Scala Consulting, which is carrying out the survey. The vehicles are operated by manufacturers (30% food and 30% drinks), retailers (20%) and logistics firms (20%). "Even if they are not interested in the environment, an efficient fleet affects the bottom line," he said.

The survey will focus on five key performance indicators: vehicle loads; use of time; empty running; fuel consumption; and deviation from schedule. From empirical feedback so far, it appeared much primary transport from manufacturers to supermarkets' regional distribution centres (RDCs) took place in the first part of the week, with deliveries from RDCs to stores in the second, said Stubbs.

Asda's chief operating officer David Cheesewright, who also heads the government's Food Transportation Group, said: "It is important to see how productivity and efficiency gains have been achieved since 2002 and identify what needs to be done, particularly in the areas of carbon emissions and empty-running reduction and increasing fuel efficiency and best value."

Scala will hold workshops for potential participants on November 15 and 16. Contact Stubbs on 07775 633775.

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