Truck operators “extremely concerned” about costs, roads, driver shortages – NRC

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineApril 29, 2022

Truck operators are extremely concerned about the rising cost of fuel and other operating costs, poor roading and driver shortages, according to a survey from National Road Carriers.

The survey, of 1800 NRC members, included respondents ranging from individual owner-drivers through to large trucking companies with more than 100 drivers and support staff.

All industry work types were represented among the more than 160 respondents, which were spread across both North and South Island businesses and included a few overseas-owned companies operating in New Zealand.

The survey found nearly 80% of members are extremely concerned about rising costs and inflation around fuel, while 65% of members are extremely concerned about rising costs of other inputs such as fuel additives, tyres and insurance.

Some 58% of members are extremely concerned about poor roading – which causes increased running and maintenance costs and accidents, and 48% of members are extremely concerned about driver shortages and retention.

National Road Carriers COO James Smith said there were no surprises in the findings, especially as fuel prices in March 2022 were nearly 60% higher than in the same month last year, and poor road conditions and driver shortages were both longstanding issues – with the driver issue being seriously exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.

“Nevertheless, these member insights have given the organisation a greater understanding of member needs and what they value – which includes advocacy, a strong industry voice, Government relations, leadership, commercial partnerships particularly with fuel companies, industry and road updates, and an NRC person on the end of the phone for advice,” Smith said.

“The insights from the survey are extremely valuable and will inform our future direction. We are currently refreshing NRC’s business strategy and communications plan, which we will share with members in due course.”