Transport costs have risen 25% in six months: businessman

A TIPPERTY businessman has spoken to the Times about the impact rising fuel prices are having on his business costs.

Richard Connon is Managing Director of Connon Brothers Coal and Oil based at Tipperty, supplying heating fuels. He says that the rapidly escalating costs of fuel and, by extension, transport, have forced his company to find efficiency savings.

“Transport costs have increased for my own company by around 25% - these kind of increases are bound to have a massive impact on the local economy,” he said. “Domestic heating fuels have increased in price - the cost of a barrel of oil has gone from $75 to $115 in the past six months.

“Up until now, we have escaped the worst effects of the recession and the cuts, particularly in the north-east, which is cushioned to some extent by the oil industry. I expect this will change in future, though: with the new financial year, the cuts are going to start really biting.

He believes that increased fuel and transport costs are set to have a huge impact on a number of commodities, including food.

“The price of food will go up, there’s no question - with transport costs as high as they are, those costs are eventually going to trickle down to customers.”

He added that his own company was having to look at new ways to cut costs.

“So far, we have avoided passing on the costs to our own customers in order to keep competitive - but we are having to consider other ways to keep costs down and be ever more efficient. We’re considering reductions in the frequency of the deliveries, for example.

He added that the Chancellor missed an opportunity to simplify the tax system.

“Rather than an array of stealth taxes on commodities, it would have made more sense to simply increase income tax slightly,” he said.