Weekly Report 48 – 11/30/2021
Spot volume falls but rates rise during Thanksgiving week
A sharp drop in spot market volume during Thanksgiving week is a given, so the 40.4% decrease in load postings in the system during the week ended November 26 (week 47) does not signal anything remarkable. In recent years, volume declines during Thanksgiving week have ranged from about 36% to 42%. Meanwhile, spot rates rose on the strength of the largest week-over-week gain in dry van rates since May. Rate increases are typical during Thanksgiving week as truck capacity dries up.
Total Market demand index
Truck postings fell 34.3%, which is a typical decline for the holiday week. With volume falling by more than capacity, the Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks in the system – fell to its lowest level in five weeks. However, the drop in dry van capacity was sharper than the decrease in loads, and that segment’s MDI rose to its strongest level in eight weeks.
Dry Van Spot Loads
Dry van load postings fell 34.2% after edging up 1.3% the week before. Volume was nearly 7% higher than the same week last year, which is the tightest year-over-year comparison since June 2020. However, volume was still more than double the five-year average (2015-2019) for the week.
Refrigerated Spot Loads
Refrigerated volume fell 35.7% after declining 3.6% during the prior week. As with dry van, the year-over-year comparisons are narrowing but not nearly to the degree they are in dry van. Refrigerated load postings were about 40% higher than the same 2020 week and more than double the five-year average.
Flatbed Spot Loads
Flatbed load postings plunged 48.4% after declining 2.8% during the previous week. While the decline was sharper than it was for the other segments, the scope of the decrease is very much in line with what normally happens with flatbed during Thanksgiving week. Flatbed volume was nearly 7% higher than the same week last year and more than double the five-year average.
Total Spot Rates
Total spot rates increased nearly 6 cents and were 19% higher than the same week last year. Excluding fuel, rates were about 9% higher than the same 2020 week. Dry van’s rate increase of nearly 14 cents was the strongest since May when the International Road-check inspection event boosted rates. Dry van rates were nearly 16% higher (7% excluding fuel surcharges) than the same week last year. Refrigerated rates were down nearly 2 cents but were about 23% higher (nearly 16% excluding fuel) than the same 2020 week. Flatbed rates ticked up about a half cent and were nearly 17% higher (around 7% excluding fuel) than the same week last year.