Haulage rates set to rise, Logistics UK warns

Hauliers have no choice but to hike rates this year in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit, the climate crisis and other international pressures, Logistics UK is warning.

Speaking today (24 May 2021) at the group’s launch of its annual Logistics Report 2021, Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK’s policy director painted a grim picture of the challenges the logistics industry is facing as a result of these pressures.

She said: “The logistics industry has proved invaluable to the UK economy throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with businesses across all modes of freight transport taking quick action to adapt their operations to meet the needs of consumers.

“However, a reduction in supply of international shipping containers, and ships to carry them, led to significant rises to the cost of moving goods and services internationally; by the end of 2020, shipping container rates had increased by 185% year-on-year and air freight costs rose significantly when cargo space was constrained due to the grounding of passenger flights.

“Fuel prices collapsed at the start of the pandemic but have now recovered to pre-Covid-19 levels. This reduction may have helped to offset inflation in the short term, but rates charged for all modes of transport are expected to rise in 2021, which could drive increased prices across the economy.

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