Truck operators extremely concerned about rising costs, poor roads and driver shortages

Truck operators are extremely concerned about the rising cost of fuel and other operating costs, poor roading and driver shortages.

These are the findings of a just completed survey by National Road Carriers (NRC) of its 1,800 members with respondents ranging from individual owner-drivers through to large trucking companies with more than 100 drivers and support staff.

All industry work types were represented among the more than 160 respondents, which were spread across both North and South Island businesses and included a few overseas-owned companies operating in New Zealand.

Across the membership there was shared concern around some common business critical issues, with the top four being:

  • Nearly 80% of members are extremely concerned about rising costs and inflation around fuel
  • 65% of members are extremely concerned about rising costs of other inputs such as fuel additives, tyres and insurance
  • 58% of members are extremely concerned about poor roading – which causes increased running and maintenance costs and accidents
  • 48% of members are extremely concerned about driver shortages and retention 

National Road Carriers Chief Operating Officer James Smith said there were no surprises in the findings especially as fuel prices in March 2022 were nearly 60% higher than in the same month last year, and poor road conditions and driver shortages were both longstanding issues – with the driver issue being seriously exacerbated by the COVID pandemic.

“Nevertheless, these member insights have given the organisation a greater understanding of member needs and what they value – which includes advocacy, a strong industry voice, Government relations, leadership, commercial partnerships particularly with fuel companies, industry and road updates, and an NRC person on the end of the phone for advice.

“The survey has served as a channel for members to give constructive feedback around what gaps may exist and how NRC can improve as an organisation – we heard that our commercial partnerships are highly valued by many members, especially the smaller operators. What came through loud and clear, was that these partnerships can be a game changer for many.”

“The insights from the survey are extremely valuable and will inform our future direction. We are currently refreshing NRC’s business strategy and communications plan which we will share with members in due course

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