European freight transport prices fell by 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter, according to the tenth edition of the Transport Market Monitor by Transporeon and Capgemini Consulting.
Ther report noted that this situation is contrasting with the seasonal pattern, when the price index normally increases between the third and fourth quarter of the year. “The trend of higher prices and a lower capacity index year-on-year has not been observed since May 2011. The large increase in capacity and the decrease in rates between consecutive months shows the uncertainty that market players face, which has had consequences on transport rates in 2011.”
Compared to the index level of previous year, the price index was down 1.5 per cent. “This confirms the development we observed in the previous quarter, when transport prices were lower than a year earlier.”
The diesel index increased by 2.0 per cent in Q4 2011, compared to Q3 2011. The capacity index increased by 11.0 per cent in Q4 2011, compared to Q3 2011.
Ramon Veldhuijzen, global lead of logistics within Capgemini Consulting and one of the authors of the report, said: “Obviously carriers are facing some tough times. Just going for the lowest price may not work; both shippers and carriers need to be smarter to avoid negative surprises.”
Peter Förster, managing director of Transporeon, added: “Looking into the market data on our platform online, we realise an ongoing transport price decrease in the first weeks of January. Therefore in my opinion, Q1/2012 will become a challenging time for the transport market as well as the general economy.”