The Pallet Network says its tail-lift surcharge will increase driver safety

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The Pallet Network says its tail-lift surcharge will increase driver safety

The Pallet Network (TPN) has announced it is introducing a per pallet surcharge for all tail-lift deliveries from August, a move it says is intended to protect driver safety as well as improving service levels and Partner profitability.

The company is the first in the UK to introduce such a surcharge, a decision TPN describes as “courageous step” that recognises the extra costs involved with tail-lift deliveries, and the levels of investment required of network partners.

The surcharge follows the HSE-endorsed RHA Tail-lift and Pallet Truck Guidance Document which was published last month.

TPN Managing Director Mark Kendall says that the decision was taken with driver retention, service resilience and business sustainability in mind:

It is essential to invest to improve the working conditions for drivers who are being asked to do increasingly difficult work. Driver retention is a critical factor for our Partners and we need to ensure that drivers are equipped with the best tools for the job. The sector as a whole has been unwilling to price tail-lift deliveries in a sustainable manner because they fear losing volume. However, TPN has always operated on the basis of quality, not volume. We believe customers will understand this change in pricing, and ensure that every tail-lift delivery is necessary and is to a suitable location. TPN is committed to service resilience and sustainable business and this is a necessary step in ensuring both.

In its statement, the TPN says the surcharge is designed to address the following issues:

  • The need for drivers to complete dynamic risk assessments at every site
  • The need for extra investment in driver training
  • Partner investment in electric pump trucks
  • To allow Partners to adapt the original B2B model for consumer deliveries

Kendall adds that the sector has not addressed the price implications of the extra tail-lift deliveries that are being made at present, particularly to people’s homes:

“The UK pallet networks are being asked to do more tail-lift deliveries, particularly to residential addresses, than ever before but the sector has never addressed the price implications of this. Our commitment is to our Partners’ success in terms of service, safety and profitability and so it is incumbent upon us to take the lead.”

Photo credit: G®iffen~commonswiki / Wikimedia Commons

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