Average Exchange haulage prices increased by 2.15% in March, following two consecutive months of falls.
The increase in prices is as expected: it’s a trend we’ve seen every year in March since records began. Every year, as the UK awakens from its post-Christmas slumber, typically, March haulage prices jump.
This year, however, it cannot be overlooked that UK inflation continues to run high. An updated rate of 10.6% is no doubt affecting nominal haulage costs, which may explain some of the jump in prices.
Still, news in the UK Spring Budget that fuel duty is to remain frozen is a positive boost for the haulage industry. And trends in fuel prices provide further cause for celebration: in March, at-the-pump petrol prices fell by 0.76%, while at-the-pump diesel prices dropped by an even greater 1.78%.
If the historic Price Index is anything to go by, hauliers might expect average haulage prices to climb as we move into summer. The UK’s economic performance, however, may mean otherwise: recent IMF forecasts suggest the UK’s economic growth in 2023 will trail that of all other G20 economies; a group of the world’s largest economies which includes the sanctions-suffering Russia.
Lyall Cresswell, CEO of Haulage Exchange parent brand Transport Exchange Group, said:
“The most positive news from the Spring Budget was undoubtedly the freezing of fuel duty. It came as a welcome relief, as the industry had been urging the government to extend the cut for some time.
“It’s good to see the government responding to the needs of the logistics industry. The industry is at the heart of the economy, so minimising logistics costs can help prevent additional inflationary strains on both businesses and consumers.
“Many businesses would have liked increased investment in green energy, as the industry (like many others) is feeling the push to go greener. Pressures like these, combined with stubborn inflation, mean we could see significant rises in the future – and we’re already seeing haulage prices start to creep up.”
The HX Price Index will continue to track changes in haulage prices in April 2023 – and beyond.
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