Haulage rates continued to stagnate during the first half of the year, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have suggested.

According to the ONS's latest Services Producer Price Indices report, which provides a measure of inflation for a range of service industries including haulage, average rates for freight transport by road in the UK at the end of Q2 2015 were just 4.7% above the baseline measurement at the end of 2010.

The figure represents a slight fall over the position at the end of Q2 2014, when rates were 4.8% higher than 2010; and show continuing decline since the end of Q2 2013, when they were 4.9% higher.

Responding to the new figures, FTA director of policy Karen Dee said it confirmed the findings of the association's own latest cost and rates data. "Although the UK economy is apparently growing, hauliers continue to be affected by downward pressure on rates from customers," she said.

Less than 20% of respondents to the FTA's latest Manager's Guide to Distribution Costs survey in April reported a rate rise last year, said Dee, with just over half reporting rates were frozen and 29% reporting a fall.

"This is most likely due to the wider deflationary pressures with in the economy, where consumers are not seeing increases in the cost of goods; therefore the providers of those goods have their own margins squeezed and are consequently unable to bear a rate rise to have goods transported," she commented.