The most recent estimates show that the average incidence of the cost of transport and more specifically of fuel, is high. It is therefore clear that the issue of “refuelling” is an absolute priority for taxes in the road haulage sector.
In this regard, the Research Centre on Logistics (C-Log) of the Cattaneo University, LIUC of Castellana, has undertaken a research project entitled OSCAR “Osservatorio sulle strategie di rifornimento del carburante da parte delle imprese dell’autotrasporto”( “Observatory in Refuelling Strategies for Road Transport Companies), with the objective to support companies in the sector in evaluating the most convenient alternatives for fuelling.
Over 250 trucking companies, with over 6,000 vehicles for a total of 540 million km / year, replied to an on-line survey prepared by the researchers.
It was found that more than 50% of the participants adopts a model of refuelling by tank (71% is a mobile tank, less than 9,000 litres, while the remaining 29% is a large and in-ground tank).
Although the tank is considered an advantageous solution, we should consider that there are charges connected to the management of a tank: from maintenance (about 69% of the surveyed perform at least one maintenance activity over two years) to surveillance, from control supply to administrative burdens. The risks associated with the danger of diesel fuel, such as the dispersion of the substance in the environment, or the risk of theft, should not be ignored.
Comparing the Costs
The refuelling costs of the 18 companies analysed by the study were valued using the full cost method (TCO: Total Cost of Ownership) which includes the annual cost equivalent, the investment for the tank, the costs of maintenance and safety, the opportunity costs related to the occupation of space in the forecourt, the administrative costs (relations with suppliers, keeping the register oils, invoice verification) and costs related to refuelling, including extra-travel and financial charges.
From the application of the cost model, there seems to be a link between the cost of managing the tank and the number of litres supplied per year. It is therefore clear that the refuelling strategy with an internal tank significantly penalizes small and medium-sized transport and haulage companies, with an additional extra cost compared to the fuel purchase cost of around 4 cents of Euro per litre. On the other hand, the maintenance costs due to the high complexity of the plants (large tanks) and the continuous refuelling of hundreds of vehicles a day are on the large companies. Concluding, according to the results of this research it will be possible for companies of road haulage and removals of different nature and size, to compare their costs with respect to those of the sample, objectively evaluating the best solution among the different refuelling strategies.
Zeus Traslochi s.r.l.s. is oriented to lower the refuelling costs of its fleet of vehicles in order to maintain quality service but at the same time lower the prices for the service.