NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) general manager for compliance operations Paul Endycott has harshly condemned trucking companies for their greed, which he says is fuelling chain of responsibility problems.
According to the NSW road compliance head, trucking companies are being forced to quote lower and lower prices in order to gain work which is causing chain of responsibility issues. That is why Mr Endycott says RMS Compliance is going to be focusing more on the practices of distribution centres.
Mr Endycott says, “cutthroat rates” are giving rise to many chain of responsibility (COR) issues in the state such as speeding and fatigue.
The NSW RMS general manager for compliance operations said that customers and freight forwarders are holding downwards auctions forcing operators to quote ever lower prices in order to get the job.
Mr Endycott was quoted on Fullyloaded.com.au,
“I (the customer) bid, none of the big companies will jump into that and it keeps falling, so who is going to jump in? This guy, bang,”
“’I don’t know whether I’m paying for the diesel, I’m going to drive all night, I’m going to crack my truck to make it go faster, and then I’m on the gear, because I can’t stay awake, because I’ve bid at the lowest dollar to get that work.
He says this is causing drivers to speed and drive while fatigued. The contractual agreements between the 2 companies are the problem and need to be examined, according to Endycott.
He wants companies to contact RMS if they believe they have been forced into such an unfair contract.
In the article on Fullyloaded.com.au, ATN asked Mr Endycott if there is a clause in COR legislation that says customers aren’t allowed to manipulate an operator on price. He stated:
“It says a company’s business practices cannot induce a breach of speed, fatigue or those other things,”
“So if the contract says you’ll do Sydney to Melbourne for $500 … once we have the information we’re more than happy to ask any questions about it; it’s whether people want to answer the questions or not.”
“If you (the customer or forwarder) are inducing the 10 per centers … that really are forced into it … this is why I’m hitting the DCs (distribution centres),”
Giant retailers aren’t the only culprits, according to Mr Endycott. Big and small inbound or outbound warehouses or terminals that load or unload trucks are also distribution centres, he explains.
The RMS boss says he is also watching DC company board decisions “because if it influences breaches on the road, they’ll commit the offence”.
Find out more about Chain of Responsibility legislation for NSW or your jurisdiction here.