National dry van truckload spot rates on Truckstop.com’s load boards rose by 4 cents last week to $2.94/mile, inclusive of fuel. This represents a 3.8% rise week-over-week and rates now sit just 4% below the year-to-date high of $3.07 set two weeks ago.
Contracted tenders dropped 3.4% as drivers head home for the holidays. Spot volumes declined modestly on most major lanes.
Relative capacity tightened by ~293 basis points (bps) week-over-week, which indicates that the deterioration in truckload tenders was due to a drop in physical volumes.
Although consumer spending seems to be wavering, the most recent card spending data from Bank of America continues to signal that the consumer-driven trucking rally of the past several months appears to be in good shape. Overall spending last week was tracking 2.2% higher year-over-year, while cumulative holiday season spending from Nov. 1 to Dec. 12 is running 18% above last year’s levels.
This week Congress finalized a $900 billion stimulus package, which includes a $600 one-time payment and a supplemental $300 per week in unemployment insurance. We believe this stimulus could drive another resurgence in goods, and therefore truckload, demand before the U.S. population is widely vaccinated.
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