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Free advice for transport operators

Free advice for transport operators

Chartered accountants and business advisers Grant Thornton have set up a free helpline for transport operators needing a steer in the right direction.

Trevor Thornton, a senior partner at Grant Thornton in Christchurch, specialises in advising owner operators in the transport sector. He has been instrumental in establishing the advisory service which Grant Thornton offices throughout the country are offering in conjunction with the Road Transport Association.

"New Zealand has a lot of owner-managed transport businesses which are very nimble but could do with a little bit of direction to ensure they stay ahead in what is a very competitive market. Their capital requirement is huge. It's a complex industry and one where it's easy to have a blow out in expenses."

Thornton, who has extensive experience working with the transport sector, said the 0800BIZ RTA helpline is open to Road Transport Association numbers who will receive a free 15 minute phone consultation.

"Transport operators can get a fresh opinion on business issues confronting them. We've worked with a number of operators who were unaware of some factors which could help their business. Some quite simple measures can assist business profitability and direction."

New Zealand has around 5000 individual road transport firms, directly employing about 22,500 people. The sector is largely made up of locally based and family owned and run businesses, more than half of which have been in business for over a decade. According to Road Transort Forum NZ figures, more than 80 per cent of all freight in New Zealand goes by road.

Thornton said issues confronting transport operators included:
• The distance factor in nationwide distribution networks.
• Profit margins requiring close monitoring of revenue/cost relationships.
• The price of fuel.
• Lack of drivers.
• Increased compliance costs.
• Improved business governance.

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