Operator’s Express Anger As Aggregate Industries Cut Rates

Hauliers working for Aggregate Industries (AI) have reacted with fury at a move by the company to chop its rates by 1.77% after blaming ‘extremely challenging’ trading conditions, writes Chris Tindall.

In a letter to its franchised hauliers, AI said they needed to accept ‘the reality of a weakening construction market’ and so it was taking the difficult decision to cut its rates.

It said fuel prices had decreased and therefore tipper haulage rates on standard work would be reduced by 0.52%.

But AI also said it was cutting the rate by an additional 1.25% to reflect the current trading environment. “We will aggressively target utilisation improvements to help reduce the impact of the rate changes,” the letter said.

“When the market dynamic shifts towards a more positive outlook, we will actively review this specific change.”

However, hauliers have told Transport News that AI is doing the opposite of other companies in the sector: “I think they’re just greedy,” said one, who asked to remain anonymous.

“Work has got quieter, but it only seems to be for them. Breedon have put their rates up by 3.91%.

“People can’t run trucks with what they are asking us to do; like the spec on all our wagons.

“You need one truck and two drivers and you need to work them day and night and that’s it, or it will never pay.”

Another haulier, Roger Foster, said he’d pulled his trucks off AI work in the west of England when he received the letter: “I think it stinks,” he said. “There is work! I’ve heard they’ve got lorries coming from Manchester covering the work because we are not doing it.

“No-one else is cutting the rate. I think there’s plenty of work out there.”

An AI spokesman said: “We recently communicated to our franchised hauliers who serve our aggregates and asphalt business in respect of our standard rates.

“We regularly review these rates against fluctuating fuel costs and adjust them accordingly.

“As average fuel prices have dropped this quarter, we will be adjusting all standard tipper haulage rates for all vehicle types on all standard work by -0.52% from 1 July 2024.”

The spokesman added: “There are also very challenging market conditions across the industry currently and, as a business, we must constantly look at how we can remain competitive and drive efficiencies.

“As part of this drive we have made the difficult decision to reduce standard rates by a further 1.25%.”

The post Operator’s Express Anger As Aggregate Industries Cut Rates appeared first on Transport News.

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