Following a significant price decline at the start of the year, the average price-per-mile for haulage and courier vehicles has risen by 4.4 percentage points since February, increasing steadily every month, according to the latest TEG Road Transport Price Index.

The research shows an overall price-per-mile increase of 1% in May, despite inflation finally hitting single digits at 8.7%.

The index has risen 1.2% year-on-year, and last month’s figures are at their highest for May since the index began in 2019.

Haulage prices also shifted upwards slightly by 1.3% during the month, compared to courier prices which have almost hit a plateau with a minimal 0.2% change.

Looking ahead, the report notes that the recent government move to allow longer trailers on the UK's roads, combined with the continued fall in diesel prices, which declined by 2.75% in May, could help boost the sector.

It also points to a study conducted by Element Energy for Transport & Environment UK - which shows that battery electric trucks are already cheaper than diesel vehicles for some uses - as another promising development.

It states: "With sales of new sub-26 tonne HGVs ending in just 12 years, the study is welcome news for hauliers. For fleet owners looking to go electric, the opportunity to reduce regular overheads is greatly encouraging.

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Lyall Cresswell, CEO of Integra,said: "It’s great to see government support for the somewhat strained haulage and logistics industry. Allied with falling diesel prices and decreasing EV costs, the move to longer lorries could provide a real boost to the sector.

“Of course, a strong supply chain is important to the economy, and consumers depend upon the road transport network for their daily needs. So the government will be hoping that the road transport industry can help the economy towards more positive growth.”

Kirsten Tisdale, director at logistics consultants Aricia and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport, commented: "Year-on-year inflation for the combined TEG index went up a little in May, but that brought it back into the Bank of England’s ideal band for inflation of 1 to 3% - the courier element is just above that band at 3.2%.

"The TEG index for spot haulage rates completed a full 12 months of year-on-year deflation, making the timing of the recent Tesco Distribution decision to increase transport charges to its suppliers look even more strange.”