Shortages in transport capacities on the spot market drives prices close to three-year high


General development

  • In July 2021, the index for road transport capacity in Europe remains at a low level of 76.7 points.

  • Compared to June 2021, the available capacity decreased slightly by -1.4%. As compared to July 2020, however, -26.9% less transport capacity was available on the spot market.

  • Prices demonstrated little fluctuation at a high level. At 113.5 index points, they were only -2.6% behind the three-year high of 116.6 points recorded in June 2021.

  • Compared to the same month last year, the index recorded a significant increase of +21.1% in July 2021.


Industry focus

  • A recovery in capacity can be observed in the sector of packaging materials. Here, available capacities rose by +17.5% to 69.4 index points in July 2021. In June 2021, the capacity index for packaging materials had still reached its two-year low of 57.7 points. The increase in capacity has not had a positive effect on prices, however.

  • The price level has risen sharply in the last five months. In July 2021 alone, prices rose to 114.2 index points, a +2.6% increase on the previous month. In a year-on-year comparison, July 2021 even shows an increase of +15.4%.

  • In the European automotive sector, in contrast, available road transport capacities fell by -8.3% to 69.5 index points in July 2021 compared with the previous month. They are thus -22.9% below the level of the corresponding month of the previous year.

  • Prices for transportation in the automotive sector reached 103.9 index points in July 2021, a slight increase of +0.9% compared to the previous month. In a year-on-year comparison, they were significantly higher than in July 2020 at +18%.


This is the result of the most recent evaluation of the Transport Market Monitor (TMM). The online service is provided by Transporeon, Europe’s largest logistic platform. The analysis is based on road transportation data of more than 1.8 million freight loads on the spot market per year. The data was updated on August 6, 2021.

“The truckload capacity shortages in Europe continue, which results in high spot market rates while available capacity remains on a low level, especially in the automotive sector. This development has been driven by many factors and it creates inflationary pressure on the economy, potentially slowing down its recovery. On the supply side, we expect more capacity will become available on the market again – however, the demand side is equally important. The main question here is how much of the current demand is based on recovery and long-term growth and what share is driven by the so called ‘bullwhip’ effect!” said Nikolay Pargov, Executive Director Freight Procurement & Audit at Transporeon.

Further information on the transportation market is available in the Transport Market Monitor’s freemium version at the following link: