May sees marked rise in road haulage and courier prices, TEG Road Transport Index shows

The May index stood at 122.8 - a 3.36% monthly rise from 118.8, which at four points above April, rivalled the year-on-year increase of 3.6 points (3.02%). Haulage prices rose by 3.9 points, with the May index reaching 118.5 - which saw a 3.4% increase, in line with the overall index. Courier prices saw a marked increase too, jumping 3.8 points in May, to 126.7.

This 3.09% jump was slightly lower than the haulage monthly price rise. Analysing these latest result TEG noted that, as happens every year, May trading was affected by two bank holidays. The report said: "With two fewer working days in the month, the tighter work schedule is likely to have contributed to May's price increase."

It added that demand could also have been boosted by a slow April this year, when retail suffered the wet weather, as well as the ongoing cost of living pressures. Turning to its monthly Fuel Watch, TEG said month-on-month fuel price changes during May were modest, with petrol prices rising 0.74p to 148.81p per litre (0.49%), compared to the year-on-year increase of 4.36p per litre (3.01%). Diesel prices saw a slight fall in May to 156.31p per litre (-0.52%).

Meanwhile, there was a steadier year-on-year rise for diesel prices. This rose 1.62p per litre May-to-May, showing a 1.04% increase. Kirsten Tisdale, senior logistics and supply chain consultant at Aricia, said: "There were decisive increases for both elements of the TEG Road Transport Price Index, with both haulage and courier spot rates higher than they have ever been for the month of May.

"The latest CPI figure available is for April - in comparison with where that puts consumer prices, courier rates don't look unreasonable, and haulage looks quite restrained." TheTEG report added: "May 2024 proved a significant month for the TEG Road Transport Price Index. While the 4-point jump was higher than historical Mays, the overall trend was familiar for late spring.

Fuel prices moved little, while petrol dominated a year-on-year rise.

"Consumer confidence appears to be improving and this will bolster the logistics sector as goods move around the country to serve demand.

With the sun shining more often as we move into summer, it will be interesting to see how pre-election activities affect the temperature of the nation in June."