The case for contract hire

Own your fleet or opt for contract hire? Andrew Morley, group sales director, Prohire, writing in the latest issue of Cold Chain News, says contract hire has particular advantages for temperature-controlled operations.

“Suppliers used to contract hiring their own fleet can do so off-balance sheet, freeing up capital for investment, yet retain high-level personalisation. With cold chain distribution one of the most time critical and presentation-sensitive markets, that is an ideal combination, especially when combined with maintenance, compliance and accident management, for the optimum fleet uptime and vehicle specification.”

“The fact that Prohire judges uptime on the successful delivery of goods, taking responsibility for supplying the appropriate vehicle as required whatever the circumstances is massively reassuring to customers; and a consultative approach to specifying vehicles and contract options ensures the best all round vehicle, refrigeration unit and support package tailored to customer requirements”

Andrew Morley, group sales director, Prohire

One area that sometimes causes concern is unknown costs – especially end of contract costs – and how they are calculated. Prohire is able to offer fixed cost predictability and significant cost savings which it passes on to its customers, Morley, says. The only variables are accident repair and out of contract costs, which cannot be predicted.

A Prohire customer may pay a little more in terms of the contract hire deal on paper, but the savings in practice will offset this. “Not only in contracted areas but also in vehicle insurance and other operating costs because of the way the fleet is managed. Incidental benefits including contract gains thanks to vehicle presentation, reliability and improved driver retention and recruitment are common,” Morley says.

Prohire has been in temperature-controlled for years with customers such as Wing Yip, National Milk Records and Asco Foods

The company’s heritage as an HGV specialist means that compliance is based on HGV legislation, even when the fleet includes LCVs. This ensures considerably higher standards for LCV fleets than those required in the car and van leasing sector, enabling greater peace of mind.

“Prohire has also been established in temperature-controlled for years with customers such as Wing Yip, National Milk Records and Asco Foods, all well into multiple contract renewal cycles, and it has made significant investments in new refrigerated rental and support vehicles and in sector specific resource and training.

“Contract hire is a beneficial way for temperature-controlled suppliers to procure their transport fleets. It combines cost advantages and peace of mind with added value. Prohire’s personal approach maximises these benefits,” Morley, says.

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