As we look to the start of a new year, record import volumes and elevated spot rates can help indicate what is coming in 2022.
According to the National Retail Federation, import volume in 2021 is the highest it’s ever been (since the NRF started tracking import volumes in 2002). With 26 million twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) being imported, 2021 outpaced 2020 by 18%. This isn’t great news on the capacity front since there aren’t enough trucks to haul the goods that are already coming in. And since truck manufacturers are having problems filling orders due to the supply chain, we find ourselves with a limited number of trucks and more goods on the supply side.
New general rate increases from UPS and FedEx begin in the next few weeks. Of particular interest to parcel shippers is the change to Delivery Area Surcharges (DAS). Both carriers have added to the ZIP Codes that can incur this surcharge, making nearly 30% of all ZIP Codes eligible.
Requests for over the road volume are starting to lose steam with about 14,500 loads being requested per day. Of those loads 20% are being rejected, marking a 6% decrease from this time in 2020. That being said, a 20% rejection rate is still high by 2019 standards.
Spot rates are down from last week’s gain at $3.47 a mile on average. This is a 20% increase over 2020, which means we’re going into 2022 with spot rates in elevated territory and no immediate answer to supply chain congestion.