Spot rates, volume fall in the latest week
After rising slightly in the prior week, dry van and refrigerated spot rates in the Truckstop.com system returned to their downward trend during the week ended May 13 (week 19). Flatbed spot rates also declined slightly. The effects of declining rates on carriers operating in the spot market are compounded by ongoing increases in diesel prices. Spot volume also was down in all three segments. Rates and volume likely will rise in all segments during the current week due to International Roadcheck.
Total load postings fell 7%. Volume was more than 34% below the same 2021 week but still about 58% ahead of the five-year average for the week. The 2021 week saw volume that was just barely below the all-time high volume posted during week 18 last year, which was the week containing the three-day roadside inspection event known as International Roadcheck. This year’s event will be held this week. Truck postings fell 10.5%, and the Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks in the Truckstop.com system – increased slightly from the prior week’s level, which had been the lowest since November 2020.
Total spot rates declined nearly 2 cents. The broker-posted total rate was about 2% ahead of the same 2021 week, but FTR estimates that excluding an imputed fuel surcharge rates would be down nearly 13% year over year. The total spot rate is only about 10 cents below the record posted at the end of 2021, but the rate excluding fuel is nearly 44 cents below the record.
Dry van spot rates decreased nearly 3 cents. Rates are down about 69 cents from the record level posted at the end of 2021. Dry van rates were nearly 12% lower than the same 2021 week but nearly 31% lower if an imputed fuel surcharge is excluded. Dry van load postings fell about 11%, more than reversing the prior week’s solid gain. Volume was about 37% below the level posted in the same 2021 week but about 40% above the five-year average for the week.
Refrigerated spot rates fell more than 11 cents. Rates are down nearly $1.33 since hitting a record at the end of 2021. Refrigerated rates were about 16% below the same 2021 week but about 33% lower excluding a fuel surcharge. Load postings fell nearly 15% for the largest decrease in about three months. Volume was 33% lower than the same week last year but nearly 55% above the five-year average for the week.
Flatbed spot rates eased by half a cent. Although the decreases in the past two weeks were small, the segment had not seen consecutive weeks with declining rates since November. Flatbed rates were more than 7% higher than the same 2021 week but more than 6% lower than that week if an imputed fuel surcharge is excluded. Flatbed load postings declined nearly 5%. Volume was about 34% below the same 2021 week but about 67% above the five-year average for the week.