Haulage prices are at their lowest level for almost two years, according to the latest Transport Exchange Group (TEG) Road Transport Price Index.
Although courier prices dropped by more than haulage prices (4.5 points compared to 3.2 points), TEG's Road Transport Price Index for February 2023 found that the haulage price-per-mile reach its lowest point in almost two years.
However, whilst courier prices fell by 4.5 points, they are still up by more than 10%, year-on-year, powering the overall year-on-year index increase, with the Index finishing February 5.2 points higher than it did last year.
The report notes that the end of February saw some notable economic and political developments in the UK, which it said could deliver brighter prospects for the road transport industry in the coming months.
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The Index pointed to the Windsor Framework, which could usher in more relaxed border controls, reduced bureaucracy at borders and a stronger economy.
"For the road transport industry, this could mean increased demand to accompany falling costs, potentially driving the price-per-mile beyond last year’s record highs," the Index said.
It added: "If it can remove some of the shackles placed on trade and the economy by Brexit, we may see greater economic growth than forecast just weeks ago. Such a scenario will undoubtedly increase demand for haulage and courier services, pushing the price-per-mile upwards."
However supply chains disruptions continue, the Index warned, highlighted by the ongoing lack of some fresh vegetables and fruit on supermarket shelves.
The report said: "It remains to be seen whether demand for transportation is significantly affected by supermarket scarcities", noting that one reason for the shortages is the effect of energy costs on the farming industry.
In better news the Index reported that European natural gas prices dropped to an 18-month low in February, which saw diesel prices fall slightly more than petrol prices in February. Diesel prices fell from £172.6 ppl in January to 169.47 ppl in February.