Freight Market Update

20 October 2023
by Pro Carrier

Table of contents

By Pro Carrier
Published: 20/10/23
Last Edited: 12/02/24

Topic of the week: The State of Road Freight

So far it has been the year for road freight as rates rising earlier in the year could be an indicator of more to come. According to the latest figures from the TEG Road Transport Price Index, UK road freight rates have seen their biggest incline in over a year, having climbed month on month up to September. Unfortunately, this is not the same case in mainland Europe where road freight rates are still finding their feet.

In 2022, December marked the peak of UK road freight haulier rates at 122 which marked a 9.7% decrease from the year before. From December rates began to drop, which can be expected to happen as we come out of the tail end of the peak period, but also partly to the rising fuel costs. February marked the lowest point of 2023 as rates sat at 107.2, only 1.7% lower than Feb 2022. However from there rates have continued to climb month on month reaching their peak at June and then dropping slightly with indications of returning climb to present. According to TEG UK rates have increased 3.3% marking the sharpest incline since December last year. In TEG’s report they suggest that rising fuel prices, the return of the HGV levy and driver shortages could be the driving factors of rate hikes.

The Government’s Biomass Strategy 2023 announced on 10th August builds on the 2021 Biomass Policy Statement and lays out the government’s objectives on using sustainable biomass to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The strategy backs using sustainable biomass as a fuel source for HGVs, with emission producing HGVs being unavailable for purchase by 2035, although some underestimate the industry’s readiness. Hydrogen powered HGVs are also a possibility as they are an even greener alternative to using biofuel. There are currently only 15 hydrogen filling stations across the UK, however, developments in parcel courier company’s are starting to implement hydrogen powered vehicles into their fleets. The HGV levy, reintroduced in August makes sure that all 12 tonne and over HGVs are contributing on UK roads. UK registered HGVs will automatically have their levy collected by the DVLA, whilst levy payment for non-UK registered vehicles falls on the operators and drivers.

Overall, there are many factors that could contribute to another rise in road freight haulier rates and this year’s steep incline ahead of peak season could also indicate the biggest increase in rates since 2022.

*Statistics sourced from TEG


  • Over the last two weeks China/East Asia to North America West Coast spot rates have fallen by 8.1% from $1,686 /FEU to $1,548 /FEU according to Freightos data.
  • China/East Asia to North America East Coast spot rates have fallen over the last two weeks, decreasing by 8.8% to $2,218/FEU.
  • Global container spot prices have declined over the last two weeks, and are now sitting at $1,073/FEU, a 22.7% decrease over the last two weeks, and a 68.7% decrease from spot rates in October 2022 according to the Freightos Baltic Index (FBX)
  • Record low water levels have been reported on the Amazon river as they reach their lowest since 1902. Water levels continue to recede, causing carriers are suspending services to the port of Manaus. Low water levels are being caused by an ongoing drought and the local government is warning that it could be the worst drought experienced within the region.


  • Global Air Freight spot rates currently sit at $2.69, an increase as rates continue to fluctuate according to the Freightos Air Freight Index (FAX)
  • Europe to Northern America spot rates currently sit at $1.69 (100-3000kg), says FAX, increasing by 1.19%
  • Europe to Central Asia spot rates have increased by 9.1% currently sitting at $2.51 (100-3000kg), says FAX
  • Europe to Asia, Greater China spot rates currently sit at $1.38 (100-3000kg), says FAX, a 4.1% decrease
  • Lufthansa Cargo have now implemented AeroShark technology on one of their freighters. The technology consists of coating aircraft in a film that reduces drag resulting in fuel and emissions savings. The carrier aims to coat all of its freighters in AeroShark film by the end of 2027.

That’s all for this week’s update…

Check out our other insights and articles for more in depth industry news and trending topics, or get in contact to discuss some of our best in class freight forwarding services!

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