The transport tariff successfully performs its functions only when fulfilling a number of requirements, which include:
- relationship with costs. Regardless of the tariff principle, the transport operator must constantly monitor the costs associated with the provision of individual services and their actual profitability;
- tariff differentiation for factors that are significant for the operator and client, affecting the formation and change of the price;
- the adequacy of the paying capacity of users. The tariff level should allow the target clientele to cover its transportation costs, otherwise the tariff will be "choke" shippers, depriving them of the opportunity to transport and sell goods, and the transport operator - the cargo base;
- Transparency for clientele. The structure of the tariff, the procedure for the formation of the final price, the system of allowances, discounts and adjustment factors should be simple and understandable so that users can make an informed decision on whether to include the services of this operator in their logistics chain;
- stability. Stable work of supply chains would be impossible if the transportation tariffs were constantly changing unpredictably. Transport companies are trying to keep the tariff level unchanged for a certain period (quarter, half a year) and to bring new tariffs to their customers in advance;
- giving the client the opportunity to choose the composition of services. If the operator suggests an complex a service consisting of several components, the tariff should allow the customer to combine these components at his own discretion. For example, when transporting small consignments between terminals, additional services are the delivery, transportation, loading and unloading at the final points of the route. The client must be able to make a decision on performing any of these operations on his own. In such a situation, the transport operator usually simultaneously offers a complex service (door-to-door delivery), the cost of which is lower than the amount of bets on individual components, which should attract the client to purchase such a service.
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Factors affecting the formation of tariffs
The variety of transport technologies and types of cargo, a wide range of additional transportation services and the variability of transport services make the structure of transportation tariffs quite complex. Tariffs of different types of transport, tariffs for transportation of various cargoes and different types of transport services have significant differences, but there are common factors that are taken into account in their formation. Such factors are (Figure 3.9):
- operator costs;
- a chain of the market;
- the solvency of the goods;
- restrictions imposed by external regulation.
Sometimes one of the above factors is decisive for the formation of a tariff. For example, a small transport enterprise can focus solely on the average tariff of the market. Using common organizational and technological solutions, such an operator can expect to achieve average economic results, not doing a special analysis of costs or studying the solvency of the clientele. However, as a rule, when forming a tariff, all the listed factors are taken into account to some extent.
Operator costs define the allowable lower border of the tariff. The amount of costs is the basis for the formation of the tariff by the method "cost, plus estimated profit," which is fairly simple and is considered to be economically fair.
Costs are also a guideline for the allowable tariff reduction in the "survival" situation. transport operator or in case of using aggressive tariff policy.
The practice of leading transport companies shows that the basic transport services should be self-supporting. Cross-subsidizing less profitable activities at the expense of more profitable deprives the operator of incentives to reduce costs, leads, sooner or later, to distortions in the economy of the transport company and forces it either to raise the tariff level to an economically viable one or to refuse to provide the corresponding service.
The operator's costs, in turn, are determined:
- the technology and technology used by the transport operator. Rolling stock and equipment can be more or less effective, as are the methods of organizing the transportation process. The age of vehicles greatly influences the costs. The more it is, the higher the cost of maintaining the technology in an efficient state;
- the transport properties of goods, in particular, such as the specific loading volume of the cargo (see paragraph 4.2), the weight, dimensions and shape of cargo packages, the degree of cargo danger, the permissibility of joint transportation of various types of cargo, the need for special modes of transportation , the need for mechanisms for loading and unloading, etc. Transportation of some types of cargo requires direct additional costs - for example, for rolling stock equipment and training of personnel for the transport of dangerous goods. In other cases, the transport properties of the cargo indirectly increase unit costs. For example, when transporting goods with a high specific loading volume, the possible volume of transportation in one vehicle is reduced;
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Fig. 3.9. The main factors affecting the formation of tariffs
- the size of the lot. The effect of this parameter is most significant near the boundary value, which makes the consignment for the given transport operator "shallow" (see paragraph 4.6). With increasing batch size, unit costs are reduced;
- the distance of transportation. This parameter is especially important for modes of transport with a high share of fixed costs (rail, sea), as they increase the distance of transportation and allocate them for a larger volume of transport work;
- conditions of transportation, among which, first of all, the balance of cargo flows. Execution of a return flight without cargo, with partial or full loading of the vehicle greatly affects the transport economy. Other important conditions are congestion of the transport network and terminals, weather conditions, etc .;
- the prices of services and resources that the transport operator purchases to carry out the transportation. The composition and structure of this group of factors depends, first of all, on the mode of transport and includes the price of fuel and energy resources and labor resources that the transport operator uses, the rental or leasing costs of vehicles, the cost of services of subcontractors involved in performing individual jobs, use of infrastructure, etc.
The market price.
This characteristic can be used as a guideline when assigning a tariff in two ways:
- when working on market segments with a high level of competition, when no supplier or consumer of the service can significantly affect the tariff level, most operators "follow the market", focusing on the average existing tariff level;
- in a situation where a transport operator introduces a new service to the market, expects to increase its market share or take other active actions. In this case, the benchmark is the tariff of a particular competitor enterprise (or group of such enterprises), which the operator intends to "squeeze" by improving the quality of the service or reducing the price. This benchmark, combined with controlling its own costs, allows the development and implementation of a balanced tariff policy.
The solvency of the client, or, as is sometimes said, the "solvency of the goods", is the maximum price that the client is willing to pay for the service in specific conditions. The purpose of the tariff from solvency in pure form is used when the transport company has a monopoly position in the market, as well as in the case of complex multicomponent services that do not have analogues on the market. In other cases, this factor is taken into account in combination with others to monitor the adequacy of the tariff of the current market situation.
The client's solvency, as a rule, is higher the more expensive the transported goods and the less the transport component in its selling price. When transporting expensive goods (with a transport component of the order of 5% or less), an increasingly important condition for the cargo owner is not the price of transportation, but its quality, in particular - ensuring the safety of cargo, timeliness of delivery, flexibility of transport services, a wide range of additional services associated with transportation and e.
Solvency is also highly dependent on the position of the cargo owner on the commodity market, where the goods are transported, and on the market conditions of this market. Transport operators, as a rule, closely monitor the commodity markets that they serve, and adjust tariffs depending on their condition. During periods of growth, the demand for transportation increases, and the solvency of customers also increases, which gives rise to tariff increases. On the contrary, when the commodity market conditions deteriorate, carriers reduce tariffs, given the real solvency of the clientele. In the most acute period of the economic crisis of 2008-2009. many oceanic container operators reduced the tariff to the lowest possible value - direct costs (cost of fuel, port and terminal services) in order to help their customers stay "afloat" and maintain their loyalty to the carrier.
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