Weekly Report 46 – 11/16/2021

Spot volume and rates decline in the latest week

Total spot load postings in the system fell 4.4%, and spot rates declined nearly 5 cents during the week ended November 12 (week 45). The softening of volume in the dry van and flatbed segments largely follows historical trends for the same week of the year. However, the refrigerated segment’s slight decline in volume is unusual so close to Thanksgiving and might reflect ongoing struggles in the food products supply chain. Truck postings rose, and the ratio of loads to trucks fell.


Total Market demand index

Truck postings increased 9.2% week over week, and capacity was up in all segments. The Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks in the system – fell to its lowest level in three weeks and the second lowest level since mid-January.

Dry Van Spot Loads

Dry van load postings decreased 2.8% after falling 7.9% in the prior week. The change in the latest week is in line with seasonal expectations even though seasonality is very much disrupted due to supply chain challenges. Load postings were about 17% higher than the same week last year and about 165% above the five-year average.

Refrigerated Spot Loads

Refrigerated volume eased 1.6% after the 13.3% gain during the prior week. The current week of the year typically sees a solid gain in the run-up to Thanksgiving, so the small decline week over week could reflect food product shortages as consumer demand ramps up and supply chains were already stressed. Refrigerated spot volume for the coming week traditionally is the strongest of the year, so the data could indicate just how strained the supply chains are. Refrigerated volume in week 45 was more than 44% higher than the same 2020 week and more than triple the five-year average.

Flatbed Spot Loads

Flatbed load postings fell 7.5% after a 5.2% drop in the prior week. However, those declines are roughly in line with seasonal expectations, so supply chain disruptions do not appear to be affecting flatbed as much as they are the van markets. Flatbed volume was 19% higher than the same week last year and about 177% higher than the five-year average.

Total Spot Rates

Total spot rates are about 17% higher than they were during the same 2020 week, but fuel costs are a major factor as the national average price of diesel is more than $1.30 higher a gallon higher than it was a year ago. Excluding fuel surcharges, rates were about 8% higher year over year. Flatbed saw the largest decline in rates, which fell more than 9 cents – the largest drop since mid-April 2020. Flatbed rates were nearly 18% higher than the same 2020 week. Dry van rates fell 3 cents and were about 13% higher than the same 2020 week. However, refrigerated rates were up nearly 3 cents and were about 20% higher year over year. Excluding fuel surcharges, flatbed, dry van, and refrigerated rates were about 8%, 3%, 12% higher, respectively, than the same 2020 week.

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