Road freight prices have stabilised in recent months, which has been welcomed.
However, that could change, according to the CEO of Transport Exchange Group (TEG), Lyall Cresswell.
Data from the TEG Road Transport Price Index warns price-per-mile levels could spike in December.
As a result, there could be an impact on retail profits and consumer choice this Christmas.
After a peak in September, the average price-per-mile has fallen by 3.3 points.
However TEG warns that the trend could soon be reversed.
Historically, haulage costs have spiked in the previous two Decembers – and it’s a trend that is set to be repeated.
Furthermore, market capacity and underlying cost changes will push prices up as well as demand.
High transport costs and supply chain issues have hit retailer profits ahead of the festive period.
Therefore, according to recent ONS data, more than one in five businesses reported significant challenges in early November.
For example, they cited either a lack of logistics equipment or hauliers to transport goods.
Meanwhile, the predicted rise in road freight prices will hit retailers.
For instance, firms such as Next and AO are citing supply chain issues for anticipated sales shortfalls.
Unfortunately, consumers are also set to suffer, with less food and drink choices.
The Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA) has warned of potential drink shortages during the festive period.
“TEG is uniquely placed to analyse industry trends,” says Cresswell.
“It handles 10,000 freight transactions every day.
“The TEG Road Transport Price Index has tracked over four million transactions since January 2019,” he added.
“Therefore, analysis of this data reveals that a December spike in price-per-mile rates is highly likely.”
Concluding, Cresswell warned that challenges remained for the haulage and courier sectors.
“Both for those working in the road freight industry and those who rely on them.”