Your Monthly Industry Recap

Stay up to date on industry trends and forecasts in shipping and logistics.

Each month our industry experts gather the top trends you should watch for in the shipping and logistics industry. Bookmark this page to check back each month for additional up-to-date information, monthly recaps and forecasts.

April 2022 Freight Trends

Dry Van

Rates: Van spot rates were down by more than 7% over March numbers, but still up 8% over 2021 rates.

Capacity: The load-to-truck ratio for vans was down by another 25% from last month, continuing the trend.

Flatbed

Rates: Flatbed spot rates were up by 0.4% over last month, much lower than anticipated.

Capacity: Capacity is beginning to ease a bit in the flatbed market, but will likely pick back up with warmer weather.

Reefer

Rates: Reefer rates dropped by 7.4% in April compared to March, but still up by almost 8% over 2021 rates.

Capacity: Load-to-truck is down by 25%, following the predictions of reefer capacity cooling with moderate weather.

Looking Ahead

In May and beyond, here are some industry forecasts and items to watch for:

  • Fuel rates are still rising, up more than 6% over last month at roughly $5.51/gallon. 
  • Dry van linehaul rates had their largest weekly decrease so far this year, causing concern among many trucking companies.
  • Shipping-related stocks have dropped heavily over the last few weeks, which could lead to additional market impacts.

Bookmark this page and check back in June for May's recap, and more insights from Ryan Transportation industry experts.

Contact us today to take your shipping operations to the next level.


Past Months

March 2022 Freight Trends

Dry Van

Rates: Van spot rates were surprisingly down 2% over February rates, but still up 14% compared to March 2021. 

Capacity: The load-to-truck ratio for vans was down almost 40% over February numbers, and down from last year's ratio as well, which means capacity is easing across the industry.

Flatbed

Rates: Flatbed rates rose 7% over February rates and are still steadily increasing over 2021 numbers.

Capacity: Capacity is still tight across flatbeds and will likely continue increasing through the spring and summer months. 

Reefer

Rates: Reefer rates decreased roughly 3% over February rates, but are still higher than March 2021 numbers by more than 15%.

Capacity: As predicted due to mild weather, capacity eased significantly from last month and last year during the same time, lowering over 38%.

Looking Ahead

In April and beyond, here are some industry forecasts and items to watch for:

  • Fuel prices are the hot topic right now; fuel rates are up 26% over February 2022, and more than 60% higher than March 2021 rates.
  • The price of fuel is expected to continue rising over the next few months, but may ease slightly due to the recent release of oil reserves in the U.S.
  • The reefer market is cooling the fastest of all modes, and flatbed rates will likely continue to rise.
  • With disruptions in Russia and Ukraine, the industry will likely see additional supply chain delays and higher freight costs in the months to come.

February 2022 Freight Trends

Dry Van

Rates: Van spot rates stayed surprisingly stable this month over last. However, rates were up 28.7% over February 2021, consistent with market trends.

Capacity: Dry van capacity is beginning to ease week over week, offering slight relief for shippers.

Flatbed

Rates: Flatbed rates rose 1.6% over January rates and 23.8% over February of last year.

Capacity: As demand keeps rising for flatbeds, capacity has tightened the most for this mode compared to vans and reefers.

Reefer

Rates: As milder weather begins around the country, reefer rates actually fell by 1.9% compared to January, but were up 30.8% over February 2021.

Capacity: Despite capacity still remaining tight overall, reefer capacity has started to ease over the last couple of weeks.

Looking Ahead

In March and beyond, here are some industry forecasts and items to watch for:

  • Since January, fuel rates have already jumped 1.0% (up to an average of $4.10 per gallon) across the country due to the conflict in Ukraine.
  • The price of fuel is expected to continue rising over the next few months.
  • As Spring weather approaches, reefer capacity will likely continue to fall, or at least stabilize, until temperatures heat up again.
  • With disruptions in Russia and Ukraine, the industry will likely see additional supply chain delays and higher freight costs in the months to come.

January 2022 Freight Trends

Dry Van

Rates: Dry van rates were significantly elevated in January with a 32% increase over January 2021, and a 4% increase over December 2021.

Capacity: While capacity has not changed much, demand continues to rise with overall freight levels increasing nationwide.

Flatbed

Rates: The flatbed market is the most volatile of the modes. Rates were up roughly 25% over last year with huge swings throughout the month, ranging by week and shipping market.

Capacity: Demand for flatbeds continues to rise each month with elevated freight levels.

Reefer

Rates: This month, reefer rates were up about 4% over last month and up 38% over January 2021.

Capacity: Reefer demand remains the tightest mode for our network and beyond.

Looking Ahead

In February and beyond, here are some industry forecasts and items to watch for:

  • We are still seeing elevated freight levels that will likely continue through the remainder of the first quarter.
  • Overall demand was extremely elevated in January with rates up 30% over 2021 numbers and spot load posts up over 100%.
  • Winter weather will remain a challenge across the nation with additional storm systems expected over the next couple of months.
  • US and Canadian border disruptions could cause additional shipping delays, elevated rates and more.

Contact us today to take your shipping operations to the next level.