Weekly Report 13 – 03/29/2022
Van segments’ rates remain weak despite fuel costs
Although total spot rates in the system matched their strongest gain of the year during the week ended March 25 (week 12), the flatbed segment continued to account for most of the market’s gains, and none of the segments saw a rate increase excluding the estimated effect of fuel costs. Total dry van rates increased slightly, but refrigerated rates posted their 11th decrease in the 12 weeks since hitting a weekly record at the end of 2021. Load postings were down in all segments.
Total Spot Loads
Total load postings fell 7.3%, which is the largest decrease this year. Volume was nearly 11% below the same 2021 week but about 83% above the five-year average for the week. Volume was below year-earlier levels for the second straight week, and that situation apparently will be the norm at least through mid-May. Load availability was down in all regions except the Northeast, where volume was essentially flat week over week. Truck postings ticked up 1.2%, and the Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks in the system – fell to its lowest level since mid-December. The MDI was down in all segments.
Dry Van Spot Rates
Dry van spot rates were once again little changed, rising just 1 cent after holding essentially flat in the prior week. However, excluding the estimated fuel component, dry van rates fell about 10 cents after dropping 15 cents in the prior week. Total rates were about 9% higher than the same 2021 week, but rates excluding fuel were down more than 16%. Dry van load postings fell nearly 11% after decreasing nearly 5% in the prior week. Dry van volume was about 9% below the level posted in the same 2021 week and 61% above the five-year average for the week.
Refrigerated Spot Rates
Refrigerated spot rates declined about 4 cents, but rates excluding the estimated effect of fuel fell about 15 cents. Rates were nearly 4% higher than the same week last year, but rates excluding fuel were down 19%. Refrigerated load postings fell more than 8% after a decline of about the same scope during the previous week. Refrigerated volume was nearly 8% below the same 2021 week and about 83% above the five-year average.
Flatbed Spot Rates
Flatbed spot rates rose 7 cents after the prior week’s increase of nearly 6 cents a mile, but rates excluding fuel fell nearly 4 cents. Rates were nearly 19% higher than the same week last year but about 3% below the same 2021 week excluding fuel. Flatbed load postings fell about 6% after declining 3% in the prior week. Volume was about 11% below the same week last year but still nearly double the five-year average for the week.
Total Spot Rates
Total spot rates increased about 5 cents per mile, which matches the strongest increase this year. However, we estimate that excluding the impact of fuel, rates would have fallen about 6 cents. Total spot rates were about 15% higher than the same 2021 week, but excluding fuel, rates were down 7% year over year. The prior week had seen the first negative comparison year over year since June 2020.