Transport capacity and price ‘at extreme levels’

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Transport capacity and price indices remain at ‘extreme levels’ according to the latest Transport Market Monitor by Transporeon and Capgemini Consulting.

The research found that the capacity index for transport increased by 2.6 per cent to an index level of 67.4 in Q3 2017. Compared to Q3 2016, the capacity index is 20.5 per cent lower.

The price index increased by 0.6 per cent in Q3 2017 (index 101.8). Compared to Q3 2016, the price index has increased by 7.0 per cent. The diesel index declined to an index of 75.3 – three per cent lower than Q2 2017.

The European Trade Flow Index is expected to drop by 5.7 per cent in Q3 2017.

“As usual we saw an after-summer dip in capacity in September,” said Erik van Dort, supply chain director at Capgemini Consulting. “But this year, the September decline was particularly sharp, leading to the highest prices of the year.

“Typically we would expect that this will normalise from October onwards, but it will be interesting to see whether this materializes in the current market”

Oliver Kahrs, director strategic initiatives at Transporeon, said: “In September, we recorded the lowest capacity index since January 2008. This means that transport prices are also very high. Although capacities grew slightly overall in the 3rd quarter, they dropped suddenly in September. It is difficult to predict whether the situation will see further recovery in the 4th quarter. The level remains fundamentally too low. Capacity constraints are the dominant topic in the sector, for which reason the current diesel prices are also not reflected in the transport prices. It can moreover be anticipated that the price of crude oil will soon increase again as a result of global political developments.”

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