Haulage prices rose by 3% in September but dropped 11% year-on-year, according to the latest TEG Price Index report.

This is the largest annual decrease in haulage prices since TEG Price Index records began in January 2019, the report revealed.

The index attributes the fall to an easing of the driver shortage crisis, with the number of HGV drivers in the UK now exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

However the report reveals that despite a rise in HGV driver numbers and a recent dip in fuel costs, overall road freight prices have soared, driven by dramatic increases in courier prices, which rose 6.7% year-on-year and 2.5% month-on-month.

As a result the average overall price-per-mile has risen for the seventh successive month this year with September seeing a rise of 3.5 points (2.8%) – close to a three-year high.

Lyall Cresswell, chief executive at Transport Exchange Group and Integra, said: “While the pound’s fall is undoubtedly adding to instability and inflation, the road freight industry is in good shape to meet any upcoming challenges head on.

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“The huge increase in driver numbers is extremely positive news. It means that operators will find it easier to deal with spikes in demand – such as the Christmas rush.

“And it’s reassuring to see haulage prices coming down. They were artificially high last year, but the situation now is much healthier.

“Much will depend on how quickly financial markets stabilise – and the transport industry will certainly be watching this closely – but the sector has shown before that it can weather any storm.”

Kirsten Tisdale, director of logistics consultants Aricia, added: “The elements of the TEG index represent the month as a whole and plainly most of September was prior to the mini-budget, so that will not have had too much impact on the current index figures.

“What businesses need, probably more than anything else, is a stable environment in which to plan and manage: stable exchange rates to buy goods and commodities, stable supply base and prices, access to a predictable volume of labour, stable interest rates to quantify investment decisions.

“To say that, there continues to be a great deal of uncertainty at the moment is to put it lightly.”