Data from Truckstop and FTR Transportation Intelligence for the week of Nov. 4 showed a sluggish spot market as volume and broker-posed rates in flatbed declined week over week and the rate gains in the van segments are not showing typical pre-Thanksgiving strength — at least not yet.
Dry van and refrigerated had been tracking closely with five-year average levels in both rates and volume, but dry van rates have been stagnant over the past couple of weeks and are slightly below the five-year average, according to a news release.
Refrigerated rates also did not match expectations for early November, but they are still slightly above average.
Spot load activity dipped 0.5% after a 2.0% gain in the previous week. Volume was nearly 46% below the same week in 2021 and nearly 2% below the five-year average. As was the case in the prior week, the West Coast led all regions in volume gains as the largest regions saw either no growth or declines. Truck availability dropped 6.6%, which was the largest decrease since Labor Day week.
The Market Demand Index — the ratio of loads to trucks — rose to its highest level in four weeks.
The total broker-posted rate fell just over 3 cents due mostly to the fairly sharp drop in flatbed rates. Rates were more than 14% below the same week in 2021 but about 9% above the five-year average for the week. However, FTR estimates that rates excluding a calculated fuel surcharge were almost 28% below the same week last year.
Dry van spot rates ticked up just over half a cent. Rates were nearly 25% below the same 2021 week and about 2% below the five-year average for the week. FTR estimates that dry van rates excluding a fuel surcharge were nearly 41% lower than in the same week last year. Dry van loads edged up 0.7%. Volume decreases in the Northeast and Midwest offset most of the gains seen elsewhere.
Dry van volume was about 43% below the same 2021 week but 0.4% above the five-year average for the week.
Refrigerated spot rates increased 1.4 cents. Rates were about 22% below the same week in 2021 but nearly 4% above the five-year average for the week. However, rates excluding fuel surcharges were about 35% below the same week last year. Refrigerated loads rose 6.6%. Volume was up in all regions except the Northeast and was led by the Mountain Central and West Coast regions.
Refrigerated volume was nearly 55% below the same week last year and nearly 7% below the five-year average.
Flatbed spot rates fell 5.4 cents. Rates were more than 8% below the same week in 2021 but about 15% above the five-year average for the week. Excluding an imputed surcharge, flatbed rates were 21% below the same week last year. Flatbed loads decreased 3.1%. Load activity was up sharply once again on the West Coast but was down sharply in the Northeast, South Central, and Southeast regions. Flatbed volume was about 51% below the same 2021 week and nearly 13% below the five-year average for the week.
The regional variations in volume seen in the prior week continued in the latest week. The West Coast led all regions in volume gains as the largest regions saw either no growth or declines. With the decrease in truck postings outpacing that in volume, the Market Demand Index rose to 52.3, which is the highest level in four weeks.
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