Seasonally adjusted Jobless claims are now at their highest point since August, jumping 17,000 WoW. Claims mimicking 2021 levels currently, however, in a much different landscape. Last year claims were starting to trend downward by the latter half of September, while claims this year have been rising intermitted over the same period.

YoY Retail sales growth has also decreased even without the removal of inflation, which was hovering around 6.8% last November and as of its most recent release sits at 7.7%. That’s down 1.4% from June, when it reached its current 12-month high of 9.1%. The current inflation rate marks the lowest the US has seen since January and is the 4th consecutive month of retraction.

This time last year contract rates and spot rates were only separated by a mere $0.02. With contractual van rates (fuel included) hovering around $2.94/mile and spot rates at $2.92/mile. According to DAT, since March the spread between the two has only increased with contractual van rates remaining high at $3.09/mile on average and spot rates falling $0.54/mile to $2.38/mile. That’s a $0.71 gap and $0.69 higher than back in November of 2021.

On the flatbed side, the spread between spot and contract on a national average is at $0.83 compared to this time last year when the spread was only $0.26/mile. Reefer spot rates have also seen an elongated period of separation between spot and contract national rates, with a $0.33 spot heavy spread last year to the most recent contract heavy release of $0.60/mile.

I would anticipate contractual rates on all fronts to see a steady decrease over Q1 23’ as shippers renegotiate shorter-term contracts until more evidence becomes available regarding future economic stability.

This has been your Bridge Logistics Market Update for the week of November 28th, 2022.