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You’re sending us broke: Ross Transport

Operators are bleeding cash on the back of rising fees and declining freight rates. Ross Transport is fed up

By Brad Gardner | March 24, 2010

A bleak 2009 is turning into a tough 2010, according to a respected trucking operator, as a new wave of costs threatens to leave more companies facing bankruptcy.

The Director of NSW-based Ross Transport, Alan Ross, has criticised governments for increasing registration fees, saying they are the product of people who have no idea of the impact it will have.

Following a rise in registration at the start of the year in NSW, Ross says it will cost an extra $4913 for him to run an interstate B-double and another $4662 to run a local B-double.

“Transport operators are joining an ever increasing line at the bankruptcy administration and many more will follow,” he says.

“Once again we are getting slugged in NSW.”

Despite the rises, Ross says customers are refusing to accept higher freight rates.

“In fact some companies have advised us that they will be reducing our cartage rates and have us working for less. Some companies have already reduced our rates,” he says

“I need a pay rise. I’m going to them to plead my case. I need more money.”

The Managing Director of bulk carrier Hehir’s Transport, Ross Hehir, says higher registration fees are being felt by everyone in the industry and agreed that rates are not changing.

“We certainly see that in the bulk industry. They’ve come back if anything,” he says.

All states agreed in 2007 to increase higher registration charges each financial year for three years from 2008 under a three-year plan to ensure the industry paid its share of road spending. NSW last year delayed the increases for six months.

But Ross says he has not noticed results for the amount of money being stripped from operators.

“If I could see the road system getting better I wouldn’t mind paying,” he says.

Liz Schmidt from Schmidt’s Livestock Transport in Queensland says people do not realise what effect higher charges are having, but she urged operators to pass on costs.

“At the end of the day you have to charge more for what you do,” Schmidt says.

As well as finding funds for wage increases and general maintenance costs, Ross says his company will spend an extra $23, 520 this year on tolls due to price rises.

Ross is not so sure smaller operators which managed to scrape through a tough 2009 will make it much longer.

“I think a lot of them have used their resources up,” he says.

“They’re [govts] not looking after the interests of people surviving.”

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