Courier prices fall for a third consecutive month, while mixed Spring Budget includes positive news

The latest update from the CX Price Index 

Average courier prices fell by 0.74% in March according to the CX Price Index. The fall is the third in three consecutive months, and it bucks usual March price trends.

Typically, courier prices increase in March as the economy awakens from its post-Christmas slumber. In March 2023, however, courier prices fell.

It should be noted that the fall in March was far less severe than those of January and February, which suggests the downwards trend is perhaps petering out.

Still, it’s no secret that the UK is currently experiencing serious economic uncertainty, which may help explain why courier prices are once again down. Recently, UK Office for Budget Responsibility chairman Richard Hughes suggested Britain’s long-term GDP may be as much as 4% lower than it might have been had Britain remained in the EU. Meanwhile, the IMF suggested the UK’s economic performance in 2023 will likely be the worst of all G20 economies; a group of 20 major economies which includes the at-war and sanctions-hit Russia. Poor economic performance echoes reduced demand for goods, which means fewer courier trips and, in turn, reduced courier prices.

Elsewhere in March, the Spring Budget proved to be a mixed bag for couriers. Fuel duty is to remain frozen. However, many expected the Budget to discuss support for the adoption of electric vehicles. It did not.

Alongside the freeze in fuel duty, couriers can celebrate further reductions in fuel prices: average at-the-pump petrol prices fell by 0.76% in March, while at-the-pump diesel prices dropped by an even greater 1.78%.

Lyall Cresswell, Transport Exchange Group CEO, 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 CX Price Index will continue to track changes in courier prices throughout April 2023 – and beyond.


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