Calculating the price of road freight transport: what you need to know

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The road haulage market is not in crisis! With the widespread use of online shopping, recent years have seen a massive increase in the demand for goods transport. According to the monthly business survey conducted in April 2022 by the Banque de France, the constant development of the road haulage business also means that prices are rising.

Road hauliers are faced with a real challenge: to stand out from the competition by offering shipments at the best price while making their offers profitable in order to limit the loss of earnings. Type of goods, shipping method, delivery destination, price, package weight: the choice of a suitable carrier varies according to many factors that can significantly influence the final price.

Find out how to calculate the price of your goods transport and find a transport solution tailored to your needs and your overall logistics.

Method of calculating the price of road freight transport

Weight tax for the transport of both light and bulky parcels

In road transport, the weight tax refers to the ratio between the actual weight of a good, usually expressed in tonnes, and the total volume of the packages transported in cubic metres. The road haulage tariff thus depends on these two data, but also incorporates the notions of distance and routing requirements relating to the nature of the goods themselves. This method of pricing ensures reasonable prices for all your road transport operations and can be applied to a wide variety of goods.


Flat rate freight tax for packaged goods

Road haulage companies can also apply a flat rate charge to determine the price of the goods. This pricing method is offered for goods already packed in batches or pallets.

In order to establish an accurate calculation of the road freight price, the haulier applies the flat-rate tax for all consignments or pallets to be transported.


The trinomial formula for determining the price of freight transport

In addition to the various taxes, road haulage companies include variable costs in determining the total price to be paid by the recipient. The tariff is thus based on a formula, called the trinomial formula.


This calculation method consists of adding three data abbreviated as CK + CC + CJ :

> The cost per kilometre (CK) takes into account the distance travelled, fuel and toll costs, but also the wear and tear on the tyres and the repairs to be made to the truck used for the transport;

> Daily charges (DC) include taxes, including axle tax, insurance and depreciation multiplied by the number of days the truck is used;

> The driver cost (DC) is based on the hours of service performed by the driver including travel expenses, salary and employee contributions.


Optional costs applied by the carrier

In the case of fragile, dangerous or expensive goods, an additional tax may be applied by the carrier due to their specific handling or packaging. In addition, there may be an additional cost for the shipment and delivery of the goods, especially for express shipments or shipments outside France or Europe.

Some carriers may also offer their customers options, such as the loan of equipment like a crane, a pallet truck or a tailgate. Finally, a commission, of a variable price, may be applied by the carrier, particularly in the case of subcontracting, whether for transport operations, delivery or even storage of parcels and goods.

How to find the best price for your road freight transport?

If the average price of road haulage in France has risen by a further 0.6% in the last six months, according to the Upply barometer published in March 2022, discover some tips for reducing the cost of your parcel delivery services.


Prepare quotations to compare prices of transporters

The price of road freight transport varies from one company to another. While the calculation method incorporates similar data such as kilometre costs, truck maintenance costs and the driver's salary, the commission rates can vary greatly depending on the haulier hired.

To find the most economical rate for your freight operations, why not use a freight forwarder? Viaposte has extensive knowledge of the industry and can use its expertise to negotiate competitive prices by quoting different carriers to ship your parcels and take over your entire operational management, freeing up your time for other essential business logistics tasks.

You can also access an online comparison site by filling in all the information relating to the desired road transport service:

> type of goods to be transported ;

> volume of goods, weight and type of packaging: pallet, package, container, etc. ;

> destination of the goods: delivery in France or abroad;

> shipping conditions: express or non-express shipping.


Consolidate your parcels and goods into one shipment

To save on the cost of transporting your goods, you can group your parcels together. This type of "multi-package" transport offer will considerably reduce the overall transport price. This is because the commissioned carrier will apply the taxes and charges to all your goods at once. Conversely, a single shipment will be charged the same rates for each road transport service.

In addition to grouping parcels, you can also play on the volume of your goods by choosing a packaging adapted to the products transported. This will save you space in the carrier's truck and reduce the tax associated with the volume.


Urgent goods transport: anticipate so as not to pay the full price

An express shipment generates higher prices in order to guarantee a timely delivery. To avoid increasing the cost of transporting goods, the shipment of your parcels should be anticipated as much as possible. In this way, the shipment will be charged at a standard price, without a surcharge. 

Viaposte: professional freight forwarder to send your goods

With our road transport solutions and services V-FRET, V-UNIT and V-REGULAR, we make it possible to transport all your goods in France and Europe within the delivery times agreed with your customers.

Our freight forwarding company provides insurance for all your shipments:

  • road transport services in batches, pallets or packages;
  • deadlines respected for your urgent, scheduled or occasional transport requests;
  • a comparison of the best offers to find the best price carrier;
  • Trucks running on green energies, more respectful of the environment, in particular in a context of traffic restrictions (Low Emission Zones - LEZ): Biogas, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Hydrogen, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) or even electric hybrids;
  • Supervision of the shipment and delivery of your goods from A to Z.

Entrust us with the complete management of your road haulage activities in order to save on the final price, to be part of an environmental approach and to devote yourself fully to your core business.

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