Courier prices fall in February, continuing an ongoing trend

The latest update from the CX Price Index 

Courier prices fell by 4.5 points in February 2023 according to the latest update from the CX Price Index. The index, which is based on average prices for courier services on the Exchange, dropped from 126.1 at the end of January to 121.6 at the end of February.

The trend is as expected: Courier prices typically fall every year in February as high prices following Christmas spikes return to more usual levels.

Post-Christmas trends aside, the courier price decrease is also likely linked to decreased UK farming output. Farmers have warned that, due to increased energy costs, UK farming production has decreased. Fewer goods produced means fewer goods to transport, which reduces demand for both couriers and hauliers.

Still, despite an apparent reduced demand for couriers, there are reasons to be hopeful. European natural gas prices dropped to an 18-month low in February, easing energy price pressures on UK farmers. Elsewhere, diesel prices dropped by 1.73% and petrol prices fell by 1.02%. Costco even slashed 4p/litre off its at-the-pump diesel prices across all of its UK sites, prompting speculation other retailers will follow suit.

The long-awaited arrival of the Windsor Framework is yet more positive news. The framework will make it easier to transport goods between Britain and Northern Ireland. Even couriers that don’t move goods between the two regions stand to benefit as the reduced costs and bureaucracy boost the UK’s economic prospects.

Lyall Cresswell, CEO of Transport Exchange Group, said: “A price drop in February is nothing new. We’ve seen exactly the same pattern in previous years, and we’d expect prices to rise gradually as we head into spring.

“However, this year is somewhat uncertain as the UK narrowly avoided a recession and inflation remains high. Businesses are still scaling back, encouraging haulage and courier companies to keep their prices down, even as they contend with high costs.

“But the future for freight is still looking promising. There are huge opportunities for development in new technology and sustainability – opportunities that the industry must grab.”

The CX Price Index will continue to track changes in courier prices in March 2023 – and beyond.


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