Trans4Cast: Spot Market – A January Surprise

By | February 13, 2018

Only once in the last decade have we had January spot market rates come in above December. That was at the start of 2014 when we also had a strong December increase in rates and we were coming off the HOS implementation at the end of 2013. Well, we can now add a second.

The Market is Surging - Spot Rates up 30% in January 2018

Not just a gain

Back in January 2014 we were coming off the HOS implementation that notably tightened capacity and we were also hitting the initial forces of the 2014 Polar Vortex that dramatically impacted the transportation markets. With all of that going on, rates increased less than half a percent from December to January.

Welcome to January 2018: A 2% gain from December and a 30% gain from last January. The market did ease by the end of the month – it was only a 26%(!) year-over-year increase in the latest week.

– ELD implementation went in to effect in December
– Economic growth, especially industrials, accelerated in 2017
– The capacity situation continues to remain in carriers favor

More to come?

If you think all of the transportation issues are now in the rear-view mirror, keep your seat belt on. We have full ELD enforcement coming on April 1, a growing economy that has the chance for further acceleration due to the tax reform package, and we are just about ready to hit the typical start of the spring freight season – when loads and rates both begin to move back up after the end-of-year holidays.

Stay tuned…

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Category: Freight Focus Trans4Cast Tags: ,

About Jonathan Starks

Jonathan has spent his entire career in the freight transportation sector having joined FTR in 2001. His expertise includes freight modeling, modal analysis, fleet characteristics, and equipment demand. He is directly responsible for producing FTR's more than 13 million datapoints and 85,000 forecasted dataseries each and every month.