No Fuel Duty – Good News!

There are many ways in which hauliers can plan for a more efficient business. Securing return loads to avoid empty journeys is one of them. But there is no doubt that reduced fuel duty has a big effect on every business in this industry.

There was good news to this effect at the beginning of December this year, as the Chancellor announced he was cancelling the proposed 3{f8abb4491e2a97c6f3f61e27580e43f022bf9247b14e411a7365df735a23d0b8} rise earmarked for fuel duty that the previous Labour government had planned some time ago. This clearly came as a relief to all those working in the industry, as it means the money spent on fuel will not go up as was previously feared.

Will this good news last?

This is the one area that hauliers are worried about. Although the cancellation of the planned 3{f8abb4491e2a97c6f3f61e27580e43f022bf9247b14e411a7365df735a23d0b8} fuel duty rise is now agreed, it does not mean there won’t be other rises further down the road. While hauliers try a number of tactics to ensure their businesses are as cost effective as possible, return loads being an essential part of this strategy, they have little to no power over fuel duty. They must withstand the rises in duty when they come, and hope for reductions whenever they can.

Indeed, many in the industry were praying the Chancellor would actually reduce the level of fuel duty currently being paid, rather than just cancelling the planned rise that was to occur. While there is widespread relief at the announcement, there is still a feeling more could potentially have been done to help the industry.

How big an effect could a reduction in fuel duty have on the haulage industry?

Hauliers cover thousands of miles a year, over and over, carrying all manner of loads and return loads to make money. As with any business they must think about reducing their costs wherever they can.

Fuel is a large cost that cannot easily be adjusted – after all you need fuel to run the vehicles. Return loads make journeys more profitable than an empty journey would be, but there is still the question of fuel to pay for at the end of the day. The cancellation of the increase in fuel duty will come as good news for the industry, but it only means that companies will remain in the same position they are in now. It would be better to be able to look forward to the potential of a real reduction from the position we are in now, but perhaps this is a little too much to hope for at the moment.

We shall have to wait and see whether the Chancellor has any such move in mind when the real Budget is presented next year. There is plenty of time to go until then, so let’s hope for good news in 2013.