There are a number of factors that come into haulage costs. A lot of work goes into calculating and quoting freight and haulage rates across the UK every day. Whereas of course mileage is important, weight and dimension, timescale, and extra costs all need to be taken into account. The rates vary across Europe and comparably with couriers. Here is an overview of some of the factors that contribute to haulage prices per mile UK.
The size and type of the vehicle aren’t actually often relevant to the haulage rate. It’s the same price for those who require a huge articulated lorry and those who only need a smaller 7.5t lorry. The only difference is that there might be a reduction in price for anything smaller than this because they can be driven by anyone with an older driving license. The weight and dimensions of the load are actually more important.
Weight and Dimensions
The primary factor that determines road haulage rates is weight. This doesn’t make it completely straightforward, however, as it doesn’t just depend on the gross weight of the cargo. Instead, the haulage rate is calculated by taking into consideration the dimensions of the cargo.
The dimensions of the cargo are used to calculate the dimensional weight, or the volumetric weight. The volumetric weight is calculated by multiplying the volume of the cargo by 250. If this number is higher than the weight in kilos then the rate will be based on the volumetric weight, not the gross weight.
If two lorries were hauling the same size boxes, but one lorry’s boxes were filled with feathers and the other’s bricks, then this would change the rate. The lorry with the boxes of feathers wouldn’t be efficiently using its weight capacity. It wouldn’t make sense to charge more for the boxes of bricks even though they have a higher gross weight, because they are both the same volume.
Taking the volumetric weight into account, the hauler is able to price more fairly. They can take into account the volume capacity of the vehicle as well. In the case of the example, the boxes of bricks haul could be charged by gross weight, and the feathers by dimensional weight, in terms of vehicle capacity.
Economies of Scale
The haulage prices can often depend on how much worth it is for the driver to make the journey. For example, if the hauling company has the opportunity to transport more goods in one journey it’s better for them. Therefore, the rates would be lowered to take a higher volume of pallets rather than a single one. It benefits both you and the company to send a bigger load in one go if possible. You are therefore able to achieve economies of scale and this can save you money.
Price by Country in Europe
On average haulage prices are about £1.50 per mile in the UK. For European destinations, it depends on the country. Here are some examples of different weights and destinations.
1 @ 120 x 100 x 200k @ 1000kg
UK to France
24p per mile
5 pallets 120 x 100 x 150, 250kg each
UK to France
£1.19 per mile
100 x 60 x 100h @ 200kg
UK to Spain
13p per mile
800 x 1250 x 560h @ 250kg
UK to Germany
14p per mile
Haulage Compared to Couriers
Whereas with haulage larger quantities of cargo are shipped in lorries, couriers tend to focus on smaller, individual packages. Although courier service is convenient, it works out as much more expensive because you pay per package, and urgency is often a factor.
Flexibility with Date
If you are able to be flexible with the date and timescale this is the guaranteed way to get a reduced rate. Haulage prices will be lower if the driver has the option of bringing another load back for example or another timesaving solution. Speed is the most expensive factor. The haulage cost freight per mile depends on the urgency of the delivery.
The starting haulage price per mile UK is calculated based on time and costs of service. The standard time per hour is generally calculated by including things like wages and overheads. Distance, fuel, and maintenance are also included, but here are also other factors to consider. If the lorry has to travel by toll roads or even ferry this could increase the price. Things like ferry costs, tolls, and urgency are the factors that will increase the haulage prices per mile the most.