The latest update from the CX Price Index
Average Exchange courier prices increased once again in November, up from 128.6 in October to 129.2.
The shift is a 0.47% price increase, and it means courier prices have now been above the CX Price Index average every month since February.
There are a few reasons behind the price increase. The most obvious is Christmas: as people buy more in the run up to Christmas, demand for courier services increases. However, a Christmas retail sales surge is only part of the story.
ONS data shows retail sales – despite showing signs of increasing – are still below pre-pandemic levels. And prices for moving goods by truck actually decreased in November. The increase in courier prices is therefore probably the result of factors other than Christmas.
An ongoing driver shortage is one such potential factor. This month, a report by the International Road Transport Union revealed a current shortage of truck, coach and bus drivers in Europe. The report suggests the driver shortage affects all road transport services, including couriers. With fewer courier drivers available, prices rise.
Fuel price increases are also a probable contributing factor. Diesel prices increased by 2.19% in November. Meanwhile, petrol prices were almost unchanged – falling by just 0.01%.
Lyall Cresswell, CEO of Courier Exchange parent brand Transport Exchange Group, said:
“Although the cost of living crisis will undoubtedly impact Christmas sales figures, the price index will inevitably rise, as all the previous data tells us.
“Road freight companies will welcome the increased revenue, but the HGV driver shortage will pose staffing issues across this busiest of times. Nonetheless, businesses will be looking to take advantage of the Christmas delivery surge, particularly as 2023 will bring challenges in the form of fuel duty and energy price hikes.
“In common with every sector, what the road freight industry really needs is a drop in inflation. Until that happens, profit margins will be squeezed and the industry will have to focus on efficiency and show its customary adaptability.”
Courier Exchange will publish the next CX Price Index update in January 2023.
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