PROBLEMS OF THE HAULIER AND CARRIER.
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The Haulage of Foodstuffs by Steamer and Trailer. What Should be the Charge on the Tonnage Basis, giving a Reasonable Profit to the Haulier ?
rPHE effects of varying mileages and loads upon costs and upon charges made• to customers by hauliers is always, a topic of interest ; specific cases may be considered with advantage periodically without risk of undue repetition. Those who depend upon road-transport for a livelihood have sufficient interest in the subject of s. d. to avoid any necessity on my part to -apologize for dealing with an aspect of the problem of operating costs which has been referred to from time to time in recent issues.
As a rule, a definite inquiry has its own particular limited appeal, but it lacks a popular grip" in that it deals with one special set of circumstances. The indefinite question or series of questions, on the other hand, gives more scope for introducing " variables " which naturally interest a larger circle of hauliers and carriers.
Tonnage-distance and Commensurate Charges.
A problem falling into the latter category has been raised by a reader, which allows of its being treated in many different ways, and I propose, therefore, to try to illustrate the incidence of miles and loads upon the charges made to customers.
The inquirer runs a 6-ton steamer and trailer of one of the latest types, and uses it for carrying flour, foodstuffs and so forth. On his letter heading the words "coal merchants" are prominent; therefore, I presume the vehicles also are .used for transporting solid fuel. This is important, as it indicates that the conveyance of flour and other edibles' is only a part-time job, which affects the total mileage and other things.
The actual point raised is-what are fair paying charges per ton when hauling flour and foodstuffs over distances of 13 or 18 or 22 miles in each direction? Figures for use with and without a trailer are required.
The principal variable factors with which we are concerned in the present instance are mileages and loads. The former is best dealt with at this juncture, but I propose to leave the quantities of goods carried and the effect upon charges to customers until the end, in order to emphasize the results more clearly.
No definite weekly mileage is given ; therefore, assumed totals may be used for the purpose of illustrating these remarks. The out-and-home distances when delivering flour are 26 or 36 or 44 miles. How many of these trips will be done in a week? Without information it is impossible to state which of the three journeys is most frequently carried out. Another unknown quantity is the mileage accomplished when carrying coal. For the sake of argument, combined with simplicity, I suggest working on 200, 300 and 400-mileper-week bases.
Steamer Costs in Delivery.
Taking the steamer working alone in the first case, its operating costs may be taken as follow :Fuel, 3.62d.; lubricants, 0.75d.; tyres, 1.80d.; maintenance, 1.94d.; depreciation, 1.62d.; making the running costs 9,73d. per mile. The standing charges will be approximately £6 18s. 4th per week, made up as follow :-Licences, 12s.; wages of driver and part wages of mate, i4 115.; rent and rates, lls. 6d.; insurance, 7s. 8d.; interest, 16s. 2d. At the rates given above, 200 miles will cost £15; 300 miles, 119 2s.; 400 miles, £23 3s, ; or 18.03d. per mile, 15.26c1. per mile, or 13.88th per mile respectively. Thus, it will be seen that when the mileage is doubled there is a reduction of approximately 23 per cent. in the cost per mile. When the trailer is used there will be additional running costs, amounting to about 2.12d, per mile, and the weekly extra sum of 5s. 7d. for standing charges, thus raising the operating costs for the two vehicles to £17 1s. for 200 miles, £22 is. for 300 miles and £26 Ds. for 400 miles.
Establishment expenses will b? about £1 10s. per week, and profit allowances will be £5 or £6 per week, according to whether the trailer is used or not.
Reasonable haulier's charges per mile will be about 2s. 2d., is. 80. or 1s. 6d. without the trailer for the respective mileages of 200, 300 or 400. The proportional extra for the trailer should be 4d., nil or 3d., according to the distance covered. Taking the medium mileage figure as an example for the combined vehicles running 300 miles on flour transport, the owner will expect some £30 as gross income in this connection.
How to Charge Per Ton of Load.
The inquirer wants to know the charge to make for such a job on the basis "per ton." Assuming the trailer is a 4-tonner, the total load capacity is 10 tons. Adhering to the middle range of figures throughout, we have a journey of 18 miles each way, or 36 miles per trip, at 2s. per ton ; thus, the job should bring in /3 12s.
Now, the load problem arises, and, as will be seen, the matter of estimating the quantities to be carried is of vital importance if charges are to be made on the " per-ton " basis. Whether the vehicle is run fully or partially loaded the operating costs are but little affected ; a straight trip with a full load and only one or two stops is the practical equivalent of a journey accomplished with a smaller load, but with more numerous stops. In making calculations the dead mileage must be included.
To yield £3 12s. for the 10 tons carried 18 miles, and the return journey of 18 miles empty, a charge of 7s. 3d. per ton must be made. Should the load be less than a full one, however, 7s. 3d. will be insufficient. Say, for example, 7 tons are carried at this price. What happens? Thefl sum of £2 10s. 9d. is received, which is some 2s. less than the bare operating costs of the vehicles on the job. The proper price in the latter case is 10s. 3id. The total income required must be divided by the tons to be carried.
The pith of the whole matter is that the desired income in proportion to the mileage must be calculated first, and then the tons carried can be con sidered afterwards. S.T.R.