Hawkins eyes strong growth on back of fuel haulage

Hawkins Road Transport's focus on fuel haulage pays off, with company eyeing strong returns for at least another decade

Hawkins eyes strong growth on back of fuel haulage
Hawkins eyes strong growth on back of fuel haulage

By Brad Gardner | May 30, 2012

Hawkins Road Transport is eyeing off continued significant growth in the fuel haulage sector on the back of the resources boom in Queensland.

The longstanding trucking operator, which opened its doors in 1921, ditched general freight in 2010 to focus on fuel haulage and CEO Roz Shaw says the company has benefited as a result.

Hawkins is tied to supplying mining regions in Queensland and has had to expand to cope with demand. Shaw says Hawkins purchased six B-doubles in 2009 for one contract and has since bought another six. The fleet now tops out at 39 trucks and more than 100 tanker trailers.

"The growth in fuel transport at the moment is massive," she says.

"I can’t really seeing it slowing done a lot for the next 10 years from what I’ve seen.

"We have certainly picked up more work since we divested the general freight business but there’s just been such a massive growth in that whole region, it’s sort of been a flow-on effect more than anything."

Shaw says Hawkins struggled to make a return from general freight due to the small profit margins and amount of competition for work.

"You’ve always got someone next to you cutting the rate. And it’s just never ending. Those people go broke so then someone else starts up and says, ‘I can do it for this price’ and then they cut the rate again. It seems to be this never ending situation where someone doesn’t seem to want to make any money."

Since leaving general freight, which largely involved carting bananas out of North Queensland, Shaw says Hawkins now limits its operation within Queensland. The company does deliver to remote townships such as Weipa, which is closer to Papua New Guinea than Brisbane.

"We don’t go to NSW any more. Every time I read something about NSW [I say], ‘Oh, I’m so glad I don’t go there any more’. We had drivers who would refuse to go over the border," Shaw says.

Read the full story on Hawkins Road Transport in the June edition of ATN

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