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TWENTY per cent over-capacity in the road tanker market could be wiped out by the end of next year, according to market research produced for Tankfreight, a National Freight Consortium subsidiary.
It commissioned a market research company to investigate the potential development of the 20,000 tankers in the United Kingdom, of which two thirds are run by own-account companies. Half of the remainder are run by the 19 largest companies in the contract hire market.
But the survey (which led researchers to talk to 110 tanker company customers, six of Tankfreight's competitors, six trade associations and Government departments, and to analyse published company reports and statistical surveys) believes that over-capacity will disappear by the end of next year.
That will come partly from the removal of some of the 1,000 small spot hire companies from the market, but most will come from a continued swing away from own account to comprehensive contract hire.
Tankfreight says that the biggest swing to contract hire has taken place among chemical companies, while the least has affected the oil industry. This year's switch of Amoco's distribution to Wincanton Transport could be the start of a trend in the oil industry, it suspects.
Tankfreight's research has shown that national customers prefer to deal with national sales managers, rather than depot managers.