Charging for deliveries?
16 July 2021
I was talking the other day with a hirer whose depots are all within the boundary of a new local Low Emission Zone and is facing higher transport costs as a result.
“It really should trigger a debate about charging for deliveries, which so many hirers have been traditionally reluctant to do,” he said.
“Increasingly, I feel that this could be the year that we introduce charging more widely, with standard rates for deliveries and collections. And I think other hirers will think the same.
“It’s got to a point now where we can’t just keep swallowing all these costs. And what other industry is there where customers don’t pay for delivery? Especially now that people are used to doing business with Just Eat, Amazon, Deliveroo, Ocado and the rest. Customers expect to pay.”
Years ago I visited a hirer who grasped this particular nettle early by introducing a standard delivery charge based on a fixed rate per mile. Google Maps was permanently displayed on the hire desk screens and the cost was determined by simply entering the customer’s postcode and noting the distance.
Obviously there was an element of discretion on larger orders or for long-standing clients, but the policy was clearly stated upfront and customers accepted it.
Otherwise, as this hirer in the new emission zone says, costs will keep spiralling upwards. And with the price of machinery and spares going up, too, how many increases can a business absorb?
● Read the earlier story about another hirer who is adapting to Low Emission Zone challenges here.
Photo: Markus Winkler/Pixabay