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TRANSPORT TIPS FOR TRADESMEN.

22nd March 1921, Page 16
22nd March 1921
Page 16
Page 16, 22nd March 1921 — TRANSPORT TIPS FOR TRADESMEN.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

Particularly Addressed to Those Who are Replacing Horsed Vehicles by Motors, or Contemplating So Doing.

IN CHOOSING between the two rclicies of operating one's own vehicles and employing a motorcarrying concern for effecting deliveries, there are certain factors not quite evident at. first thought that, should be taken into account,.

Owning or Hiring.?

One is so much in the habit of looking upon motor transport as a system providing direct deliveries with no intermediate handling that one may perhaps forget to take into account the fact that, in certain cases, it does not conform to this definition. If we have considerable loads to be taken up to the trader's premises and delivery perhaps in bulk at one point, then the carrier will provide just as direct. haulage as the trader can do himself. In such a case, the carrier may have the advantage of being the owner of a number of vehicles, and therefore better able than the trader to provide for the economical maintenance of those vehicles and for completely uninterrupted service. His vehicles are not all being overhauled at the same time, and, when the one generally employed for some particular job is off the road, another can take its place. Also, the carrier is in a better position than the trader gererally is to secure full return loads. Consequently, he may be able to quote terms comparing very favourably with the actual cost to a trader of operating his own vehicles, and yet may be able to reserve a proper profit for himself while doing so.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring.

Similarly, in the matter of the delivery of parcels, the carrier may be able to make up fuller and more regular loads, leading to a 'reduction in the cost of transporting each parcel. In the ease of retail deliveries, however, the. carrier in most instances does not take the goods direct from the .trader's premises to the residences of the customers. Very ,probably he collects from the trader by means of a light motor or horsed van. This.' takes the goods to his central depot, where they are transhipped into a delivery van. If the area served is a large one, they may be transhipped at the central depet, into, a large van running between it and an outlying subsidiary depot, from which they will ultimately be delivered by motor or horsed vehicle. In the one case there is a single intermediate handling and uossibility of delay. In the other case there are two of each.

The, intermediate handlieg may involve risks of breakage or injury to the goods. It certainly involves some slight risk of lase by pilfering, though, if the carrier's business is well organized, this risk should be trifling, as the system will makes sonseone man definitely responsible over each section ofethe journey,, and a check will be provided which would show, just where a leakage occurred. In some instances, the fact that the goods passed to the carrier will be handled on the way to their deetination may render it necessary to spend a considerable amount of time and money in careful packing, more thorough than would be required were the delivery to be direct from the trader to the purchaser. This packing may also lead to an increase in the average weight of the parcel, and consequently in the charge which the carrier will make for delivery. Thus, altogether, it is evident that there may be speciaa reasons why certain traders will be better advised to run their own vehicles than to employ carriers, even though the carrier's service is admirably organized and the prices, quoted are somewhat lower than those which would • result from the fair allocation of the costs of running one's own vehicle..

Prevention of Pilfering.

Judging both by the frequent zomplaints that one sees in the Press, and also on a smaller scale from one's own experiences, it is apparent that pilfering of goods in transit is increasing to an alarming extent. Of course, one has known for some time that anyone who ventures to dispatch a parcel to or from, say, the South of France, or even Paris, without registering it., is merely asking for trouble. Somewhere along the route there appears te exist an active staff Which regards all such packages as its rightful perquisites, but occasionally condescends to forward one or two labels or a portion of a wrapper bearing an address. When the oared is supposed to contain some gift from a. thoughtful friend taking a holiday, one must accept the will for the deed, although .a luggage label does not convey quite the same atmosphere of the sunny south as does the little hamper oftangerines and their green leaves which was originally attached to the label.

Even in this country it is surprising how often one receives presents of, for example, tour pheasants' feet, securely fastened to a large label. The experience of the railway companies in bigger matters seems to show fairly conclusively that it. is somewhere on the railway system that what one may call the leakage of the rest of the birds takes place. Seriously, the matter is one which may quite properly influence the trader's decision as to the. method of transport that he will adopt. The borrowing habit was acquired by hundreds of thousands of men during the war, It. was regarded as a valuable accomplishment in the officer s servant, and it was by no means unknown among the commissioned ranks. It was not looked on as being the equivalent of dishonesty, and, now that the men who have picked up the habit are back in civilian life, they have a natural tendency to gravitate into those positions. that allow them to exercise their newly acquired faculty. From this point of view, what position could be more attractive than that of a man who has the intermediate handling of enormous numbers of small parcels in transit?

The moral iethat, if we wish our goods to reach their destination with certainty, it is best to adopt some method of transport in which, if a leakage takes plane, there is no question whatever as to who is responsible. When four or five handlings have taken place, it is very difficult to say with certainty at which point the trouble ha a occurred. When only one man has been in charge of a motor vehicle and the goods have been checked in their disappearance before delivery, to put it mildly, arouses suspicion of the honesty of that man.

Pilfering is a practice not, likely to be evenly distributed among the products of all trades. There are some classes of trader whose goods are particularly attractive to the pilferer. 'They represent, perhaps, consumable produce which is to him a luxury. The process of pilfering is fairly safe, because in a very few hours the thief has eaten the evidence. It is particularly to traders who are4 liable to suffer. in this. sort of way that the adoption of motor transport for direct delivery may be recommended as a safe. way of eliminating losses that appear otherwise to be inevitable..

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Locations: Paris

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