Distributor Target Components has defied rising haulage costs by trimming some of its carriage charges for resellers.
The Yorkshire-based outfit has slashed up to £8 off its timed next-day delivery charges and introduced a new, cheaper two-day delivery service starting at £4.95.
Managing director Paul Cubbage said the price cuts were possible only because of the two-day service, which he said had resulted in efficiency savings in Target's warehouse (pictured).
"With two-day orders, we can pick and pack them first thing in the morning, meaning there is less pressure in the warehouse between 4pm and 6pm to 7pm, when it's manic," he said, adding that about 15 to 20 per cent of all orders have moved to the two-day service since it was introduced two weeks ago.
"We looked at dropping our carriage charges a year or two back but there was a big potential cost in that because our haulage charges have been creeping up. We had to find another business reason to justify it, and this tied in nicely with the fact we were snowed under with orders."
The biggest price drops come on pre-12pm next-day timed deliveries, which Cubbage accepted were not as competitive as they could have been.
Carriage charges for web orders of between 20kg and 50kg made in this category have been slashed from £22.95 to £14.95. Similarly, price cuts of £6, £5 and £7 have been made in this category for web orders under 20kg, telephone orders under 20kg and telephone orders of between 20kg and 50kg respectively.
The price cuts for Target's premium pre-10am next-day timed orders are more modest as there was less room for manoeuvre, Cubbage said. The price for pre-10am web orders (both under 20kg and 20kg to 50kg) has been dropped by £3, while the price of telephone orders in this category have stayed the same.
Cubbage also highlighted that there are substantial savings to be made for resellers who switch from Target's standard next-day delivery service to the new two-day service. The price of a two-day service on web orders of under 20kg is £4.95, compared with £6.95 for the standard one-day service, for instance. For telephone orders, the sub-20kg price drops from £9.95 to £6.95.
With rising fuel prices forcing haulage firms, including Target's own partner DPD, to raise their charges to distributors, Cubbage claimed Target is going against the grain.
"I haven't come across it among the other distributors – if they'd done this I'm sure they'd be shouting about it," he said.
Target's drop-ship charges, which it overhauled in 2011, remain unaffected by the move.
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