BRUSSELS, May 25 (FAM) – European road freight rates were at their lowest levels in eight years in the first quarter of 2017, despite a backdrop of rising diesel prices, according to the Transport Market Monitor (TMM) published by technology and consulting group Capgemini and cloud-based logistics software provider Transporeon, which tracks transport market dynamics.

The study revealed that rates had fallen 9% when compared to the previous quarter (Q4 2016) and were down 6% compared with Q1 2016.

“Road hauliers had a very difficult first quarter,” said Capgemini’s supply chain director Erik van Dort. “Market rates were very low and barely higher than the levels seen in the midst of the economic crisis in Q1 2009. And given the fact that the diesel index is currently close to 40% higher than in Q1 2009, rates were effectively a good deal lower.”