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Survey: Most Operators Transport Goods by Truck or Van, but Service-Area Sizes Vary

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ALN Wire Survey Chart
ALN Wire Survey Chart

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ALN Wire Survey Chart
ALN Wire Survey Chart

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — More than 92% of respondents to this month’s unscientific Wire survey say their laundry transports goods to/from their plant by truck or van, but the size of their service areas varies greatly.
The majority — only 32% — serves a radius of 100 to 200 miles. Running a close second were service areas of up to 25 miles and greater than 200 miles, both of which were selected by 24% of respondents. Next was 50 to 100 miles (16%). Last was 25 to 50 miles (4%).
The fleets used to transport goods for the respondents also vary in size and number, ranging from a single box van to a collection of approximately 35 box trucks and tractor-trailers. Many respondents report using straight trucks, box trucks or tractor-trailers.
Most operators lease vehicles (44%), buy vehicles (40%), or buy or lease depending on circumstances (12%). Only 4% of respondents report that a third party handles their pickup/delivery.
Respondents reported they either transport all goods they process (84.6%), transport a portion of goods they process (11.5%), or don’t transport goods off premises (3.8%).
Two out of five operators (40%) surveyed report tracking their delivery vehicles while they’re on the road.
Many operators report that finding high-quality, dependable drivers is one of the biggest challenges they face. “We have changed their title to ‘Customer Service Coordinator’ due to the mindset of ‘Truck Driver’ or ‘Delivery,’” says one respondent. Fuel and maintenance costs also pose a significant challenge, according to many respondents.
Only 8.7% of respondents say the automotive industry downturn has provided them opportunities to upgrade their fleet.
While the American Laundry News Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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About the author

Bruce Beggs

American Trade Magazines LLC

Editorial Director, American Trade Magazines LLC

Bruce Beggs is editorial director of American Trade Magazines LLC, including American Coin-Op, American Drycleaner and American Laundry News. He was the editor of American Laundry News from November 1999 to May 2011. Beggs has worked as a newspaper reporter/editor and magazine editor since graduating from Kansas State University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications. He and his wife, Sandy, have two children.

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