Dry van rate gain remains strong in week after Thanksgiving
Broker-posted spot rates in the Truckstop system increased for all equipment types during the week ended December 1 (week 48) as dry van rates rose substantially for a second straight week. The increase of more than 17 cents in two weeks puts dry van spot rates at their highest level since early February. Spot rate increases for other equipment types were far more subdued. Total spot volume more than doubled to the strongest level since September following the sharp drop during Thanksgiving week.
Total load activity surged 113.1% after plunging more than 44% during the holiday week. Volume was 12% below the same 2022 week and more than 14% below the five-year average for the week. Truck postings rose 12.7%, and the total Market Demand Index – the ratio of loads to trucks – jumped to its highest level since late May after falling to its lowest level since May 2020 during the previous week. MDI swings of that scope around Thanksgiving are not common, but this year’s shifts resembled the 2022 dynamic during the same period.
The total broker-posted rate increased just over 2 cents after rising just over 1 cent in the previous week. Total rates saw their first back-to-back increases since Labor Day week. Total rates typically decline during the week following Thanksgiving, although they were marginally above flat week over week during the same 2022 week. Rates, which were at their highest level since mid-October, were almost 10% below the same 2022 week and about 5% below the five-year average.
Dry van spot rates rose just over 8 cents to the highest level since week 5. Rate increases of that scope during the week following Thanksgiving are unusual; rates often decline during the week. However, dry van experienced weaker rate moves during the run-up to Thanksgiving than typical. Rates were about 7% below the same week last year and more than 9% below the five-year average. Dry van loads soared 126.3% after falling more than 38% during the holiday week. Volume was about 13% below the same 2022 week and nearly 11% below the five-year average for the week.
Refrigerated spot rates increased 1.6 cents after falling more than 9 cents during the previous week. Refrigerated rate changes frequently are weaker during the week after Thanksgiving than they were last week. Rates were more than 10% below both the same 2022 week and the five-year average. Refrigerated loads jumped 63.5% after falling about 46% during the holiday week. Volume was almost 22% below both the same week last year and the five-year average for the week.
Flatbed spot rates increased more than 1 cent, which was the same increase as the prior week. Although the gains have not been large, flatbed has seen increases for three straight weeks for the first time since late April. Rates were more than 11% below the same 2022 week and 0.7% below the five-year average, which is the strongest comparison since early June. Flatbed loads surged 127.9% after dropping more than 49% during the holiday week. Volume was nearly 6% below the same 2022 week and almost 23% below the five-year average for the week.