Transportation & Logistics Analysis

France: misleading rise in road transport prices in November

December 15 2022

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BAROMETER. The Upply Freight Index shows a month-on-month rise in road transport prices in France in November 2022. This trend reflects the rise in diesel prices in the previous month, but not a net recovery in freight rates.

According to an Elabe poll for BFMTV, 73% of the French population believe that their purchasing power has decreased in recent months, up 16 points on last year. The effects of inflation are increasingly being felt and are causing serial abstentions: 51% of French people say they curbed their shopping and spending on going out (+19 points in one year) and more worryingly, a growing number of French people say they are having to give up on essential expenses (39% are forgoing buying certain food products and 37% heating their homes properly).

In a context of rising energy costs, geopolitical tensions, increasingly significant consequences of climate change, and pressure on purchasing power are ending up having an exorbitant impact on public finances – 69.2 billion euros between September 2021 and November 2022 in France, according to the think tank Bruegel4 –, in an environment where money is already scarce for many public services and where rising interest rates risk increasing debt servicing.

Price increases: the books aren't being balanced...

Despite this gloomy environment, road freight transport prices still managed to rise by 1.9%, putting a stop to the decline in prices that we had been seeing for a few months.


Source: Upply Freight Index – Road France

As the pass-through of diesel costs generally occurs with a one-month delay, it is safe to predict that the increase in freight rates observed in November is largely "bolstered" by the surge in energy prices in October. Indeed, last month, we noted that professional diesel prices had increased very significantly over 1 month, up by 14.6%, inducing a strong impact on the CNR cost index LD EA (Long Distance Articulated Unit): this increased by 5.3% in October compared to September.

If we compare the increase in transport prices (+1.9%) with the soaring transport costs (+5.3%), we see a differential of 3.4% to the detriment of carriers' balance sheets in November. They are therefore bearing the cost of the fall in transport flows, which mechanically push prices downwards. (...).

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With more than 20 years of experience in the international supply chain, William works as a road transportation expert for Upply. Entrepreneur by nature, he has successively worked in operational and functional management among various industries, such as chemistry, automotive and building materials; alternately shipper and service provider.
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