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The statement by Sainsbury's distribution director L. S. Payne that the recent road haulage strike has destroyed the confidence of industry has caused much acrimonious controversy this week.
Together with the strong hint from FTA that industry would not pay increased rates to cover increased wages, it has done more damage than anything else in recent times to the owner account/haulage relationship. If, as the combined statements appear to suggest, the own-account sector is to build at the expense of the haulage sector, its champions would do well to look again at the economics of their suggestions. Contract hire and distribution is becoming more widely used each year as 'industrialists realize the necessity to invest their capital in production plant rather than in vehicles.
Distribution of one's goods to stores or customers is of course a matter for almost personal attention. This is precisely the choice that haulage operators of repute can offer. There are enough around to make quotations competitive.
Rather than make rude noises and guarded threats, round-table discussions on how to make best use of haulage resources should be the order of things.. We believe this is in the public's interest.