Haulage and courier prices increased by 3.6% in April despite falling diesel costs, according to data in the Transport Exchange Group (TEG) road transport price index.

Year-on-year haulage prices were down 2%, but with courier prices 3.6% higher, the overall index is up on April 2022’s figures.

TEG said that although diesel costs have reduced, stubborn inflation, driver shortages and supply chain troubles all conspired to keep prices up.

It said the UK economy was losing £12 billion a year to supply chain issues.

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Lyall Cresswell, CEO of TEG data firm Integra, said: “Falling diesel prices is very welcome news for the industry. It reduces a day-to-day expense for everyone, making every mile cheaper.

“But it’s clear that there are more permanent problems affecting hauliers’ and couriers’ prices. One of those is the driver shortage, so it’s encouraging to see the government once again taking action to get new drivers on the road.

“Another issue altogether is supply chain costs. Streamlining operations through digital solutions can help greatly here, so I’d encourage any road freight transport company to build digital tools into everyday processes.”

Kirsten Tisdale, director of logistics consultants Aricia, said the TEG index usually goes up at this time of year:

“The courier element has always gone up in April, but this year’s increase was the smallest,” she said.

“The haulage element has also gone up in April but continues to be deflationary against last year – despite accusations of profiteering in this sector, this is the 11th month running for which spot rates have been lower year-on-year.”