Transportation & Logistics Analysis

Slump in January on road transport prices

February 16 2024

Subscriber content only

BAROMETER. Road transport prices in France continued to fall. The drop in demand, blockades, and sluggish economic prospects are plunging French transport into a slump.

In January 2024, all of France was shaken by the farmers' revolt. This movement disrupted the cabinet reshuffle, which had begun on 9 January 2024 with the appointment of Gabriel Attal as Prime Minister. It was not until four weeks after the appointment, on 11 January, of twelve ministers and three deputy ministers, that the full composition of the government, and in particular the name of the new minister in charge of the transport portfolio, was known.

The choice fell on Patrice Vergriete, who became Minister Delegate for Transport after holding the position of Minister Delegate for Housing in the previous government. He succeeds Clément Beaune. The professional federations addressed their customary congratulations and wishes for success, but immediately highlighted the economic difficulties facing the sector and laid down the red lines.

The economy at half-mast

The new government takes office in a difficult economic context. According to INSEE forecasts, the recovery of economic activity in France will be very slow: growth is expected to be limited to 0.2% in the first and second quarters of 2024. Consumer spending should recover a little, thanks to the fall in inflation, but investment is completely at a standstill. Moreover, in January 2024, the business climate in France remained relatively stable compared to December 2023, and below its long-term average. The economic situation has improved in construction, services, and retail trade, but it has deteriorated in wholesale trade.

Above all, the January results show a decline in the employment climate indicator: at 99, it loses a point compared to December and is just below its long-term average (100), for the first time since April 2021. Business leaders therefore believe that employment will deteriorate in 2024, with a consequent increase in unemployment figures.

A 4th consecutive drop in road transport prices

Unsurprisingly, therefore, road transport prices continued to fall for the fourth consecutive month. They fell 0.9% in France in January 2024 compared to December 2023, according to the Upply Freight Index (UFI Road France).


Source: Upply Freight Index – Road France

This streak of four monthly declines is the longest on record since March 2023. In addition, over the last 12 months, there have been 8 monthly downturns against only 4 increases. There has been a real "deceleration" on transport prices in France since 2023 and January 2024 is following the same trend.

Subscribe to the newsletter

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.
See all its articles