Weekly Report 08 – 02/23/2022
Spot volume, rates ease in the latest week
A solid gain in flatbed load postings and relatively stronger loads in the Southeast across several segments were not enough to offset volume losses elsewhere in the system during the week
ended February 18 (week 7). Total load postings declined 0.9% as the refrigerated segment saw its largest week-over-week decline since Thanksgiving, and dry van volume fell by the most in a month. Total spot rates eased by more than 1 cent, but flatbed rates increased while van rates fell. Total load volume was less than 13% higher than the same 2021 week. Barring an unexpected jump during the current week, spot volume will be lower than the year before for the first time since early July 2020. If volume were to hold steady at week 7 levels, it would be negative year over year in most weeks through May.
Load availability was up more than 8% in the Southeast region, but postings were down in all other regions except South Central, which saw a marginal gain of 0.7%. Flatbed posted its strongest week-over-week gain in the Southeast, and that region was the only one in which dry van volume increased. Refrigerated volume was down in all regions, but the decrease was the smallest in the Southeast region.
Total Market demand index
Truck postings declined 2.5%, and the Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks in the system – increased slightly. However, the gain was exclusively in flatbed, which saw its highest MDI in three weeks.
Dry Van Spot Loads
Dry van load postings decreased 4.6% after edging up 0.8% during the prior week. Load availability rose nearly 8% in the Southeast, but postings were down in other regions, led by double-digit declines in the Northeast and Midwest. Dry van volume was just 1% higher than the same 2021 week but more than double the five-year average.
Refrigerated Spot Loads
Refrigerated volume fell 16.2% after easing 1.2% during the previous week. Load availability fell in all regions, ranging from 9% in the Southeast to nearly 23% on the West Coast. Although total load volume was positive year over year, refrigerated load postings were nearly 7% below the same 2021 week. However, refrigerated volume was more than double the five-year average for the week.
Flatbed Spot Loads
Flatbed load postings rose 7.3% after rising 4.4% during the prior week. Load availability was up in all regions except for the Mountain Central and West Coast regions, led by the Southeast. Load postings were 32% higher than the same week last year and nearly 137% above the five-year average.
Total Spot Rates
Total spot rates were a little more than 16% higher than the same 2021 week. The decline of more than 1 cent week over week would have been about two cents larger absent a sharp increase in fuel prices. Excluding fuel surcharges, rates were 8% higher year over year. Dry van rates declined more than 4 cents and were about 16% higher year over year. Refrigerated rates fell about 12 cents and were more than 13% higher year over year. Flatbed rates increased 3 cents and were about 18% higher than the same 2021 week.