Road transport prices crept up in March, following declining prices in January and February, according to the latest data from the TEG Index.

The TEG Index revealed that both haulage and courier prices are starting to rise, increasing by 3.2 points overall, to reach 117.7 in March 2024. 

This follows two consecutive months of price declines in January and February. The rise also marks a 2.9 point year-on-year increase in prices.

The report to the Index cautioned that prices have increased in March every year, since the beginning of the index in 2019, with January and February often bringing much lower average prices following the peak season in December.

It said the price increases seen across haulage and courier vehicle services were ”not significant”, with haulage prices rising by 2 points and courier prices by 2.5 points.

However year-on-year data tells a different story,the report said, with courier prices rising 1 point, whilst haulage prices have increased by 4 points.

The Index also revealed fuel prices continuing to rise for the second consecutive month, brought about by a jump in the price of oil. Petrol prices rose by 1.86% over March, whilst diesel prices went up by 1.91%.

However, on a more positive note, fuel prices remain lower year-on-year, particularly diesel, which currently sits 7.4% lower than in March 2023.

TEG  welcomed the latest Spring Budget announcements, which it said will positively affect the road freight sector, particularly through changes to fuel duty.

However it added that the government’s efforts cannot stop there, pointing to uncertainty around the impact of new post-Brexit border control systems, due to come into effect on 30th April.

The report called on the government to give industry more information to help them navigate the new border controls, to prevent potential disruptions to the supply chain and avoid empty shelves.

It added that whilst the fuel duty freeze is welcome, it pointed to the record numbers of haulage firms that collapsed last year and that continue to fail this year, adding that “many in the industry were hoping for a temporary suspension of the HGV Levy and VED on HGVs”.

It also called for government incentives for hauliers to take up alternative fuels, to offset the cost of transitioning.

Looking to the future, the report said: ”After the price fall typically seen in early Q1, road freight prices are starting to climb. Service users should be aware of this, however, the changes over the past month have not been drastic.

”Fuel prices continue to rise for the second month in a row, which could further contribute to rising haulage and courier prices in the coming months, as the two are intrinsically linked.

”Still, prices remain lower year-on-year, and the changes to fuel duty should act to moderate any impending price hikes.”