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


January 24

Spot metrics settle into the new year during the latest week

Loads Available 01.24

Spot market volume and rates in the system generally eased in line with seasonal expectations during the week ended January 21 (week 3), although both metrics remain far above normal levels. Total volume declined 4.1% while total spot rates eased by more than 6 cents per mile. Flatbed load postings increased slightly, but volume and rates otherwise were lower week over week in all segments. Total volume was about 58% higher than the same 2021 week. Total rates were nearly 26% higher.

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January 18

Flatbed powers the spot market in the latest week

Loads Available 01.18

Sharply stronger flatbed load postings and rates were principally responsible for an increase in spot volume and only a small decline in rates during the week ended January 14 (week 2). Total volume rose 6.1% while total spot rates declined nearly 4 cents. Dry van volume was barely above flat week over week, but dry van and refrigerated metrics otherwise were weaker than in the prior week. Widespread winter weather over the weekend could result in bigger changes in spot metrics in the coming week.

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January 10

Spot volume sees typical post-holiday rebound

Loads Available 01.10

Total spot load postings in the system jumped 43.7% during the week ended January 7 (week 1), following the typical pattern of a rebound after a holiday lull. Loads were up in all segments, including a modest gain in refrigerated to surpass the record posted during the prior week. Dry van volume was the second highest on record after a weather-related spike last February. Rates fell 10 cents from the prior week’s record, but flatbed rates saw their strongest gain in 10 weeks.

Spot volume invariably rises sharply during the first week of the year compared to the final week of the previous year. Disruptions due to winter weather in much of the U.S. also likely contributed to the strength in load postings, although supply chain disruptions had already maintained a high floor on volume. Weather-related disruptions also might have muted declines in rates that typically occur during the first week of the year.

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January 3

Spot rates surge to a record in the final week of 2021

Loads Available 1.3.22

Total spot rates in the system jumped 17.5 cents a mile to a record level during the week ended December 31 (week 52), surpassing the prior record set in May. The increase was the largest in a single week since late December 2017, edging out week 51 for that distinction. Rates surged 35.3 cents – about 12% – during the final two weeks of the year, which typically is a strong period for rates. Load postings rose 12% during the week as refrigerated volume surged to a record level.

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