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NRC’s New Customisable Cost Index A Vital Tool In Stressful Times

With fuel and road user charges costs on the rise and a slowing economy, now is the time for road transport businesses to get onto National Road Carriers Association’s new Customisable Cost Index.

NRC GM Policy and Advocacy James Smith said the next quarter is going to be “a shocker” with road user charges going back up after the discount came off in July, sharp increase in fuel prices from the falling dollar and increasing vehicle prices pushing up finance costs.

“A significant number of operators are under stress because of these cost pressures and then on top of that we have a slowing economy,” said Smith.

“The Customisable Cost Index is an interactive tool that allows operators to see the impact of cost increases on their businesses. It allows users to align the index to their business because there is no such thing as a generic transport business.”

Smith said NRC has worked with Infometrics Chief Forecaster Gareth Kiernan and Statistics New Zealand over the last 12 months to build the interactive tool.

“To get the best value from the tool, transport companies need to know what percentage of their total costs are fuel, labour, tyres, maintenance, road user charges and finance.

“If they don’t know these percentages they shouldn’t panic as we can easily run a cost model for them that will provide them. Users can then move a slider to select their starting quarter. The index has data from 2009 through to the June quarter of this year.

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“They can also choose to see their costs excluding fuel. This is important if they already have a Fuel Adjustment Factor in place. They can then print off their own cost index. Included is a brief commentary from Gareth on where he sees the key points to be.”

Smith said users will need to know their NRC website member login to access the index. If they don't, the NRC CTS Team can help. If users have any questions about how to use the Index or how to work with what it tells them they should contact one of NRC’s CTS team.

“And if there are any enhancements to the tool that users can think of, please contact me as we are looking to expand this service. Thanks to the NRC members who helped test it during development as their input was invaluable.”

Smith said the tool had received rave reviews from the operators large and small involved in pre-launch testing.


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