Road freight capacity on spot market declines to lowest level since 2017

Road freight capacity on the European spot market has dropped to its lowest level since 2017, according to a report by transport logistics software vendor Transporeon. The findings are based on the data in Transporeon’s Transport Market Monitor (TMM), a service by Tim Consult.

In the first two weeks of September, 14.4% less road freight capacity was available on the European spot market than in August 2020. This drop in capacity can be explained by production activities resuming after the summer holidays. On a like-for-like basis, however, the latest figures for the first half of September also show that the available capacity has decreased by 14.2% compared to September 2019.

As for prices, they rose in June and July, remained the same in August, and rose again in September (by 6.9% compared to August 2020). A year-on-year comparison reveals that prices are lower than in September 2019 (-5.0%). The automotive industry continued to recover in September, as demonstrated by the price increase (+8.4% compared to August 2020). Here too, the decrease in available capacity (-8.8% compared to August) is in line with the typical trend after the summer vacation period.

Changing road freight strategy

“We are currently seeing the lowest level of road freight capacity on the European spot market since 2017,” states Oliver Kahrs, director of Tim Consult, a subsidiary of Transporeon. “There is always a seasonal decline in road freight capacity after the summer holidays due to production activities restarting. However, a decrease of this magnitude could also indicate changing strategies amongst carriers in the context of the COVID-19 crisis,” he adds.