In this episode Miles talks to Tremayne Johnson, Director at Bartrums Haulage and Storage Ltd.
Miles and Tremayne have known each other for decades and talk about the haulage industry and the various developments of some of the largest and smallest haulage firms in the UK.
They reflect on when Felixstowe was a smaller port and how its significance and importance has grown over the years with now improved road links and 33 freight trains leaving the port daily.
Tremayne talks about Bartrums, their ethos and commitment to delivering excellent service. He says, ‘This (haulage) is a service industry’ and goes on to explain that haulage firms can become too focussed on the truck and trailer movement without the wider vision of the customers at both ends.
Miles and Tremayne touch on crime around haulage and how important it is to have secure parking for hauliers. Tremayne comments that 27% of trucks park off-site in the Midlands and that it’s not safe at times for drivers who are targeted for their stock and, more recently, their fuel. Warehousing for storage is at its worst right now in the UK and the problems and the risks around this are discussed by Miles and Tremayne.
Tremayne comments that the driver shortage is not such a critical issue as it was a few months ago – he explains how the profile of drivers at Bartrums has shifted with a higher percentage of drivers being less experienced than before. The situation is not ideal, he explains, but it’s progress and at Bartrums they take the greatest of care in training and operators licencing. They have a variety of different sized trucks too, so new drivers can build up with confidence to driving larger trucks.
The recent uplift in fuel prices and the effects this can have on some haulage companies is also addressed. From 97.5 p to 151 p is difficult to cope with. Bartrums buys and stores fuel in advance and uses an escalating rate-card with their clients to be able to handle situations like the current fuel shortage. There is concern for smaller haulage companies who do not have a sliding escalator set into all of their contracts, and this can lead to losing clients, as well as a lot of work every time there is a price move on fuel. Tremayne shares the real issues with buying diesel as well as Fuel Card providers and the future of buying diesel on the road.
If you have any thoughts or opinions on this topic Miles would love to hear from you and discuss some of your points in a later episode.
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