Weekly Report 50 – 12/14/2021

Spot rates fall sharply as volume settles following the holiday swing

Total spot rates in the system fell nearly 9 cents a mile during the week ended December 10 (week 49) as spot volume settled following two weeks of big changes due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The dry van and refrigerated segments were solely responsible for the drop in spot rates, which was the largest since the first week of this year. Total load postings in the system eased 3.6% after the big holiday swing but were nearly 4% ahead of volume during the week before Thanksgiving.


Total Market demand index

Truck postings declined 4.6%, slightly more than the decrease in loads. The Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks in the system – edged higher. The MDI increased in each of the three principal segments: Dry van, refrigerated, and flatbed.

Dry Van Spot Loads

Dry van load postings declined 7.9% after jumping about 80% following Thanksgiving week. Dry van volume was about 31% higher than the same week last year and about 148% higher than the five-year average (2015-2019) for the week.

Refrigerated Spot Loads

Refrigerated volume fell 10% after rising nearly 38% following the holiday week. Refrigerated load postings were about 64% higher than the same 2020 week and more than 142% above the five-year average.

Flatbed Spot Loads

Flatbed load postings increased 2.9% after the prior week’s surge of nearly 108% following the holiday. Volume, which was the strongest in five weeks, was about 8% higher than the same week last year and nearly 173% above the five-year average.

Total Spot Rates

Even with the latest week’s sharp decrease, total spot rates were nearly 17% higher than the same week last year. Excluding fuel, rates are more than 8% higher. Dry van rates fell about 20 cents from the prior week’s record level for the largest drop since April 2020. Dry van rates were about 10% higher than the same 2020 week, although they were up just over 1% excluding fuel surcharges. Refrigerated rates dropped about 14 cents for the largest decrease since early July. Refrigerated rates are nearly 29% higher (22% excluding fuel) than the same week last year. Flatbed rates barely moved, ticking up three-tenths of a cent. Flatbed rates are about 19% higher (11% excluding fuel) than the same 2020 week.

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