FTR provides weekly analysis and commentary for's Spot Market Insights email newsletter, formerly the Trans4cast. You can view the most recent commentaries below. 


October 18

Spot volume eases slightly, outpacing seasonal expectations

Total Rates 10.18

Total spot rates edged up 1 cent – the first increase in six weeks. However, the gain was solely due to sharply higher diesel prices, which are up 18 cents per gallon in the past two weeks. Excluding fuel surcharges, broker-posted rate per mile declined by about 1 cent. Rates excluding fuel were about 14% higher than the same 2020 week while rates including fuel were up 20%. Dry van rates excluding fuel declined by about 6 cents and were about 6% higher than rates in the same week last year. Refrigerated rates recovered about 6 cents of the previous week’s decrease of about 14 cents. Refrigerated rates were about 18% higher than the same 2020 week. Flatbed rates eased about 1 cent and were about 15% higher than the same week last year.

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October 11

Spot volume falls mostly in line with seasonal expectations

Total Rates 10.11

Total load postings in the system fell nearly 9% during the week ended October 8 (week 40), but volume during that week of the year usually declines. During 2015 through 2019, spot volume on average fell nearly 7% in week 40 as week 39 typically is the peak of volume in the second half of the year. Volume was down in all segments. Truck postings rose by the largest degree since July. Total spot rates declined for the fifth straight week largely in line with seasonal expectations.

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October 4

Spot volume edges higher as rates basically hold steady

Total Rates 10.4

Total load postings in the system ticked up 2% during the week ended October 1 (week 39), essentially matching volume during the week before the July 4th holiday. Dry van led the way for the three principal segments, while refrigerated load postings edged slightly higher and flatbed volume eased slightly. Total spot rates declined less than 1 cent from the prior week, although a third straight decline in refrigerated rates was mostly offset by gains in other segments.

Spot market volume generally continues to outpace seasonal expectations. For example, while volume in the latest week was basically the same as the end of June, the five-year average (2015-2019) change between week 26 and week 39 is a decrease of more than 15%. Total volume during week 39 was about 31% higher than the same 2020 week, which saw the peak of volume in the system for all of 2020.

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September 27

Spot volume rises to its strongest level since June

Total Rates 9.27

Total load postings in the system added to the rebound from Labor Day’s lost productivity, rising 5.3% during the week ended September 24 (week 38) to the highest level since the end of June. Dry van and flatbed each posted volume gains of more than 6%, but spot volume was flat week over week in the refrigerated segment. Overall, spot volume is outpacing seasonal expectations as major disruptions continue in the supply chain. Spot rates eased slightly in the latest week.

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