Hauliers association says sector needs to improve

PETALING JAYA: The Association of Malaysian Hauliers reiterates that the upward revision of haulage tariff guidelines effective June 1 reflects that the industry needs to improve on productivity and efficiency.

AMH said the continued escalation of operating costs and operational inefficiencies prompted the upward revision of the haulage tariff guidelines.

The revised tariff recommends the rates to be up by 20% over the current tariff.

“However, the AMH tariff guidelines are used in the market by both customers and hauliers as only a benchmark to negotiate for rates.

“The final negotiated rates differ customer to customer, depending on the services required, volume of business, destinations and other operational factors unique to each customer and their preferred haulier,” said AMH president Datuk Ahmad Shalimin Ahmad Shaffie.

According to AMH, the liberalisation of the haulage industry had seen an increase in container haulage operators to more than 200 companies throughout the country.

However, in recent time these operators, most of them members of AMH, found that productivity and efficiency has suffered due to various problems and bottle necks in the industry which are beyond their control.

AMH said the shortage of drivers, higher wages, increased costs for spare parts and tires as some examples of factors driving up operating costs. Customers' demand for better services further resulted in record high investment in IT as well as GPS systems. “Long delays at container depots have badly affected the productivity of the haulage operators.

“This problem is not anticipated to be resolved in the near future. The current productivity is estimated to average two to 2.5 trips per day compared to previous three to five trips per day for each truck. The association estimated that each truck wastes up to RM20 per trip due to these delays not to mention the loss in productivity and foregone revenues for each trip lost.

“Based on these factors, the AMH believes that a 20% increase in rates is reasonable and fair,” said AMH.

Alongside the announcement of the AMH tariff revision, the association also announced that the collection of trailer detention charges will be outsourced to an external third party. This new collection method also comes into effect June 1.

AMH said the prime mover to trailer ratio in Malaysia was one to seven, whereas the norm for this trade in all other countries was one to 1.5 at the most. The requirement for such a ratio is due to customers' behavior unique to Malaysia, particularly in the detention of trailers beyond the norm of two to four hours to load or unload a container.

“The constant monitoring of trailers and collection of detention charges from customers is tedious and costly which sometimes lead to contentious arguments with customers.

“As such, members of the AMH collectively agreed to outsource the monitoring and collection task to a third party agent so that they may focus on their core competency of transportation.

“Forwarders, shippers and consignees are recommended to quickly get in touch with their respective hauliers for further details,” said AMH.

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