BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Extreme cold and other severe winter conditions likely were the cause of a jump in broker-posted rates in the Truckstop system during the week ended Jan. 19 (week 3).
Spot rates were up for all equipment types, and both dry van and refrigerated reversed their typical January slump following the usual late December surge. Refrigerated spot rates posted the largest increase, and dry van rates basically offset the losses during the first two weeks of the year. Flatbed rates added to the prior week’s gains.
Total load activity rose 3.9% after surging nearly 22% during the previous week. Total volume was up 4.3% compared to the same 2003 week. Volume had not been positive year-over-year since March 2022. Load postings were about 21% below the five-year average. Truck postings barely moved, edging up just 0.2%. The total Market Demand Index — the ratio of loads to trucks — rose to its highest level since the week of the International Roadcheck inspection event in May.
The total broker-posted rate rose 7 cents, which is the largest increase since May except for the one during the final week of 2023. Rates, which were at their highest level since the end of June, were 2.5% below the same 2023 week, and just 0.3% below the five-year average. The year-over-year deficit was the smallest since July 2022.
Dry van spot rates
Dry van spot rates rose 6.6 cents, which is slightly more than the total decrease over the prior two weeks. Rates, which were highest since early January 2023, were 0.3% higher than the same 2023 week and about 2% below the five-year average. Dry van rates had not been positive year-over-year since April 2022. Dry van loads increased 8.3%. Volume was about 10% above the same 2023 week but about 12% below the five-year average for the week. Load postings had not been positive year-over-year since July 2022.
Refrigerated spot rates
Refrigerated spot rates jumped more than 12 cents after falling nearly 10 cents during the prior week. Rates were nearly 7% above the same 2023 week and more than 4% above the five-year average for the week. As was the case with dry van, refrigerated rates had not been positive year-over-year since April 2022. Refrigerated loads rose 17.6%. Volume was more than 39% above the same 2023 week and more than 1% above the five-year average for the week. Refrigerated volume had not been positive year-over-year since May 2022.
Flatbed spot rates
Flatbed spot rates rose nearly 6 cents after a gain of close to 7 cents during the previous week. Rates, which were at their highest level since early August, were nearly 6% below the same 2023 week and less than 1% below the five-year average. Flatbed loads eased more than 1% following strong gains during the first two weeks of 2024. Volume was more than 7% below the same 2023 week and more than 36% below the five-year average for the week.
Born in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and raised in East Texas, John Worthen returned to his home state to attend college in 1998 and decided to make his life in The Natural State. Worthen is a 20-year veteran of the journalism industry and has covered just about every topic there is. He has a passion for writing and telling stories. He has worked as a beat reporter and bureau chief for a statewide newspaper and as managing editor of a regional newspaper in Arkansas. Additionally, Worthen has been a prolific freelance journalist for two decades, and has been published in several travel magazines and on travel websites.