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Survey: Operators Tweak Delivery Schedules, Routes as Gas Prices Soar

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wire survey chart
Wire Survey Chart. (Credit: Alissa Ausmann)

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wire survey chart
Wire Survey Chart. (Credit: Alissa Ausmann)

Bruce Beggs |

CHICAGO — Laundry operations with off-site pickup/delivery have to be feeling the sting of gasoline prices that are exceeding $4 a gallon in some areas and could spike higher. More than 90% of respondents to this month’s Wire survey say their laundry transports goods to/from their plants by truck or van.
Off-site pickup/delivery is a must for 71.4%, as the nature of their operations requires them to transport all of the goods they process. Approximately 24% transport only a portion of the goods laundered at their facilities, and 5% don’t transport any goods off premises.
None of the operators who responded to this month’s survey say they use alternative-fuel or hybrid electric delivery vehicles. But 5% plan to buy or lease such vehicles within the next year, and another 25% say it’s a possibility. Seventy percent do not plan to acquire such vehicles.
Operators described fleets of varying sizes and make-ups, including step vans and tractor-trailers. One reported using 24 trucks “like bread trucks,” while another anonymous respondent reported sending two 30-foot trucks out every day (one travels 100 miles, the other 200 miles). One operator says his or her facility uses just one truck.
The operators who took this month’s survey spend an average of $9,538 on gasoline each month. The highest individual average reported is $28,000, while the lowest average is $1,000.
Have you made any operational changes in an attempt to lower your fuel costs? Wire survey respondents say they have decreased the number of deliveries to specific customers, used routing software to reduce miles traveled, consolidated routes and even cut back deliveries from five days a week to four to get a handle on the rising costs. One operator is “thinking of installing our own fuel tanks.”
Subscribers to American Laundry News’ Wire e-mails—distributed twice weekly—are invited to participate anonymously in a brief industry survey each month. While it presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, the survey should not be considered scientific.
The entire American Laundry News audience is 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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