UPDATE 1-Weekly UK-EU freight volumes down 38%, truck data indicates

(Adds background) LONDON, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Freight volumes moving between
the United Kingdom and the European Union were down 38% in the
third week of January compared with the same week a year ago,
real-time truck movement data shows. Stockpiling, problems adapting to the post-Brexit customs
border and the COVID hit to the economy have all reduced the
flow of goods moving between Britain and the EU although it is
starting to stabilise.

The data comes from Sixfold and Transporeon, Europe’s
largest supply chain & logistics technology platform that
connects suppliers, retailers, shippers and more than 100,000
logistics service providers. Prices for jobs to move goods, particularly on the key
French-British crossing, remained above last year’s levels. Spot
prices on the French to British route were up 51% compared with
the third quarter of last year, chosen to reflect the most
normal trade levels with regards to COVID-19 turbulence.

Freight forwarders, the companies that book truckers or
other modes of transport to move goods on behalf of suppliers,
also continued to reject jobs from companies they are contracted
to serve, when it comes to moving goods to Britain. Drivers now need additional paperwork due to the customs
border plus a negative COVID test when leaving Britain, putting
many drivers off. “Transport demand is slowly recovering but still sluggish –
our French British border crossing monitoring, based on
real-time visibility data by Sixfold, indicates significant
volume drop compared to the same weeks in January 2020,” said
Stephan Sieber, CEO of Transporeon.

The Port of Dover, Britain’s main port for truck freight,
has said it expected January trade to be slower following
pre-Brexit stockpiling.

It expects a return to normal seasonal
average levels by the end of January or early February.

(Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Paul Sandle and Andrew
MacAskill)

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