Slightly weaker flatbed metrics offset small gains in dry van and refrigerated

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Updated Aug 4, 2021

Data from Truckstop.com and FTR Transportation Intelligence for the week ending July 30 show a market that is largely holding steady.

Total load volume was up slightly as a small decline in flatbed load postings offset much of the small gains recorded by dry van and refrigerated, according to the agencies.

Spot volume trends are slightly outperforming seasonal expectations for the second half of the year, however, given ongoing disruptions in freight markets, those expectations might not be quite as meaningful as they were before the pandemic. Regardless, spot volume remains well above last year’s levels and the five-year average.

Spot rates were essentially flat week-over-week as a small decline in flatbed rates offset relatively small gains in dry van and refrigerated. As with loads, however, spot rates are outperforming seasonal expectations, and rates remain strong compared to the same period last year.

Total truck postings rose 8.8% with especially notable gains in dry van and refrigerated. The Market Demand Index fell to 142.5, which is the lowest level since immediately before the weather-related spike in spot metrics in February.

Load volumes remained flat again this week as normalization continues, even though the daily high point for last week was 1,073,000. Truckstop.com's normal load volumes are 400,000 per day. 

Capacity remained constrained at 40.30 week-over-week. The 5-year average is 89.5 

Rates – remained flat at $2.98 per mile – the 48th week above $2.40. The five-year average is $2.20. Van rates were 2 cents to $2.70; flatbed down 2 cents to $3.02; and reefer increased 6 cents to $3.22 

Outbound tender rejections saw a small decrease to 20.67 from 21.42. It's dropped more than four points in four weeks, "but still super elevated against a market normal of 5%," Truckstop.com noted.