Road Transport Forum News

 
Your industry needs you!

Your industry needs you!

Road Transport Forum News

 November 2019    RTF News

For operators who use and benefit from RTF's quarterly Road Transport Cost Index, it's time to help your industry out by participating in the online cost comparison survey necessary for the future reliability of the Index.

"Every few years it is necessary for us to update the information the Index is based on to ascertain operator costs on a regional, sector and size basis," says RTF technical manager Kerry Arnold.

"It is absolutely critical to the accuracy of the Index over the next four to five years that as many people as possible complete the survey."

Usually the survey is conducted every five years, but it has been brought forward slightly, "because the market movements in truck cost inputs have been quite dramatic in recent times."

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For operators who use and benefit from RTF's quarterly Road Transport Cost Index, it's time to help your industry out by participating in the online cost comparison survey necessary for the future reliability of the Index.
"Every few years it is necessary for us to update the information the Index is based on to ascertain operator costs on a regional, sector and size basis," says RTF technical manager Kerry Arnold.
"It is absolutely critical to the accuracy of the Index over the next four to five years that as many people as possible complete the survey."
Usually the survey is conducted every five years, but it has been brought forward slightly, "because the market movements in truck cost inputs have been quite dramatic in recent times."
The aim, adds Arnold, is to get "at least 200 operators to participate."
The University of Waikato School of Management's New Zealand Institute for Business Research (NZIBR) has been commissioned to conduct the survey.
Says Arnold: "Our intention is to get the most accurate information we possibly can to inform the Index going forward, which is why we have again got NZIBR to run the survey. They are extremely experienced in this type of data analysis.
"However, the reality is that no matter how good NZIBR are at number crunching, the survey will always rely on the participation of operators. If the industry fails to participate in the required numbers the result will be an inadequate supply of information that will risk the accuracy, or even the existence of the Cost Index at all.
"This would, of course, have a major impact on transport businesses that rely on the Index to help them set their rates and prices – and they may find themselves far more vulnerable to greater cost pressures as a result."
The survey questionnaire asks operators for mainly financial information related to the year ending March 31, 2019 (or the equivalent – eg June 30, 2019). The survey itself is confidential, the submissions are coded and all information submitted, analysed and reported is based on code numbers only.
Access to the coding database is restricted, meaning that operators' information will not be available to anyone else, including the Road Transport Forum.
All information is reported as averages and percentiles, therefore no individual organisations can be identified.
To make the individualised report more meaningful, road transport businesses are categorised into the following subgroups (subject to sample sizes) for comparison:
All road transport participants
Fleet size group and engaged in the same activity (ie intercity, or metropolitan-only transport etc.)
Income group (ie $500,000 to $1,000,000)
Income group and same fleet mix group (ie separated into fleets having predominantly single-unit trucks, combination vehicles, or a mixture of truck sizes).
Activity group and same fleet mix group
Says Arnold: "Operators taking part in this survey will get access to the information it collects – anonymised for collective purposes. They will also get a free individualised report, presenting information about how their financial overheads and returns compare with the rest of the industry."
Registration for the survey can be done at www.management.ac.nz/register/rtfnz. Once registration is confirmed, participants will be emailed login details to access the online questionnaire.
Operators should be aware that the survey may take some time to complete and it may be necessary for many operators to have their accountant assist them in the process.
Only those businesses that can separate financial information specifically related to their road transport operations should register.
Says Arnold: "Last time we did the survey we struggled to reach the necessary number of respondents, which resulted in data gaps that had to be compensated for by some very smart modelling.
"However, every time we do that the integrity of the Index is slightly eroded, so we desperately want to avoid that situation this time around."
If you have any questions, please contact RTF on 04 472 3877 or forum@rtf.nz or NZIBR on 07 838 4013
or mrc@waikato.ac.nz


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