For the three months from November 2012 to the end of January, the Index, which identifies price fluctuations, rose from a low of 113 points in November to a high of 117.8 on January 1. Through January, the Index saw marked declines.
In absolute terms, prices are roughly the same as last year, with the high of 117.8 comparing slightly favourably with last year's 116 points.
Freightex CEO Tim Phillips said: “Although we experienced an increase in prices during the Christmas period, these increases did not hit the levels experienced prior to the economic crisis.”
Thomas Cullen, Senior Analyst at Transport Intelligence commented: "The picture painted by the Freightex European Road Freight Rate Index over the past quarter is hardly a surprise. Demand in much of Europe is weak, notably France and Italy, with the situation particularly bad in Spain. Germany is stable if not exactly growing rapidly."
The level of price rises in Europe over the holiday period was markedly less than seen in previous years. The market appeared to falter around late November, leaving a limp recovery until Christmas.
January was marked by stability over the first couple of weeks, followed by an unusually sharp fall in prices. The nature of the fall in January was in-keeping with the volatility seen in the period running-up to the holiday season.