European road freight rates: the cost to supply economic growth


European road freight rates provide us with an indicator of wider economic prosperity. The fortunes of those operating in the European road freight industry are strongly linked to economic growth and, in particular, the success, or lack thereof, of the region’s retailers and manufacturers. Indeed, research undertaken for Transport Intelligence’s European Road Freight Transport report showed a significant correlation between road freight output and economic growth as well as an inverse relationship between retail sales and bankruptcies in the road freight market.

The road freight market in Europe is not merely led by these forces, rather they are intertwined and each is integral to the others success. The industry links Europe’s various population and economic centres with one another and facilitates economic growth as a result. Given such interweaving fortunes it should come as no surprise that, in a region still struggling to regain economic momentum, the road freight sector is experiencing similar fortunes.

This is a tough backdrop against which road freight providers must operate. Providers of transportation must find a way to match their services to the market – not only in terms of providing the services which help facilitate their clients’ success but also in matching supply with demand at a price clients are willing to pay. This second dynamic element of service provision has proven tricky in the European market in recent years and goes some way to explaining the trends seen in the European Road Freight Rates Index, published and updated weekly on the Ti Dashboard.

Showing rates for the overall market, as well as for individual routes between Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and the UK, the Index offers insight into both the seasonality experienced within the market as well as the overarching trends in each market. Click here to view the index’s infographic.

The statistics on which this analysis is based are taken from FreightEx’s exchange activities and reflect the prices paid/bought for actual loads. The Consolidated Freight Index is created through the aggregation of the data on individual routes, although not on a weighted basis.

The Index, updated weekly, is just one of more than 90 regularly updated charts available through the Ti Dashboard. Data is presented on subjects including air and sea freight, macroeconomic trends, global trade and industry vertical sectors. You can find out more about Ti’s Dashboard here, and you can check out how the interactive Dashboard charts work by following this link.

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