sennder: Digitalization is key to navigate persisting macroeconomic challenges

sennder: Digitalization is key to navigate persisting macroeconomic challenges

 sennder, a digital freight forwarder in Europe, has released its second European Road Freight 2023 Year in Review, a market report focusing on the key industry-shaping trends of 2023, based on proprietary data from its network of approximately 40,000 trucks.

The report provides analysis of the road freight industry landscape with an outlook on the trends that will impact the industry in 2024. 

 Julius Koehler, Co-founder and Managing Director at sennder, said: “2023 was another unprecedented year for our industry. Against a backdrop of continued market volatility and the ever-present urgency of climate action, we see shippers and carriers seizing technological opportunities and adapting to new environmental and regulatory demands. The outlook for 2024 is clear: Digitalization is key to navigate lower shipper demand and persisting macroeconomic challenges.”

 Declining road freight rates in Q1 2023

2023 was a challenging year for the industry, with adverse global macroeconomic conditions taking their toll for shippers and carriers alike. Road freight demand, often a barometer of economic health, witnessed a downturn after the all-time high freight rates seen in 2022. Faced with the need to secure loads, carriers engaged in low-price strategies, driving down freight rates, with sennder identifying road freight rates falling as far as 9% in Q1 2023. 

 Yet, European carrier rates were up 1% above January 2023 levels by EoY. This was caused by peak season demand and new German road tolls from December 2023 which increased toll costs by up to 83% for carriers operating on German roads. German freight rates ended 2023 up by 6%, which sennder identified as being driven by these increases in cost. 


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