Weekly Report 11 – 03/16/2022

Van segments’ spot rates fall even as fuel prices surge

Total spot rates in the system saw their largest increase in five weeks during the week ended March 11 (week 10), but surging diesel prices more than account for the gain. However, the dry van and refrigerated segments saw lower spot rates even if fuel is not excluded. Higher volume and rates in flatbed have offset weakness or stagnation, at best, in the van segments over the past five weeks. Total volume in the system fell 2.4%, but flatbed load postings were up slightly.


Total Spot Loads

Total load availability remained positive year over year in week 10, and it was still more than double the five-year average for the week. Volume was up in the South Central and Southeast regions but down in all other regions. Truck postings declined 5.4%, and the Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks in the system – increased slightly. However, the MDI increased in flatbed but fell in dry van and refrigerated.

Dry Van Spot Rates

Dry van spot rates fell 7.5 cents a mile in week 10. Excluding fuel, dry van rates plunged more than 19 cents a mile. Rates were nearly 6% higher than the same 2021, but rates excluding fuel were down nearly 9%. Dry van load postings fell 10.1% after declining 4.1% in the prior week. Dry van volume was about 3% below the level posted in the same 2021 week but nearly 73% above the five-year average.

Refrigerated Spot Rates

Refrigerated spot rates declined by 6.4 cents. Excluding fuel, refrigerated rates dropped more than 18 cents. Rates were about 8% higher than the same week last year, but rates excluding fuel were down nearly 5%. Refrigerated load postings decreased 5.9% after declining 1.4% in the previous week. Refrigerated volume was nearly 8% above the same 2021 week and nearly double the five-year average.

Flatbed Spot Rates

Flatbed spot rates rose more than 8 cents a mile, which is a large weekly increase for the segment. However, rates excluding fuel fell nearly 4 cents. Rates were nearly 19% higher than the same week last year but only about 6% higher excluding fuel. Flatbed volume increased 1.9%, which is the smallest weekly gain since a decline five weeks earlier. Flatbed load postings were nearly 13% higher than the same week last year and about 123% above the five-year average.

Total Spot Rates

Total spot rates increased 4.3 cents per mile, but FTR estimates that excluding fuel surcharges, rates would have fallen nearly 8 cents. Surcharges jumped following a record diesel price surge of 74.5 cents a gallon during the week ended March 7. Total spot rates were about 15% higher than the same 2021 week, but excluding fuel, rates were only a little more than 2% higher year over year. However, it is possible that brokers are still adjusting to higher diesel prices.



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