Welcome to the Weekly Report for May 12, 2021. Our report is packed with all the latest driver recruiting figures and our story of the week. This week’s story – despite strong demand, when taking seasonality into account the trucking transportation industry actually lost 1,400 jobs!
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Truck Driver Searches
|WoW: ∇ Down 8%|
|MoM: Δ Up 1%|
|YoY: Δ Up 13%|
|WoW: Δ Up 12%
Volume by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van Δ Up 30%|
|WoW: Refrigerated Δ Up 32%|
|WoW: Flatbed Δ Up 3%
*Sets an all-time high record for the 10th time in 11 weeks.
|WoW: Δ Up 9¢ per mile
*5th consecutive week rates have reached record levels.
Clicks On Truck Driver Postings
|WoW: Δ Up 8%|
|MoM: Δ Up 36%|
|YoY: ∇ Down 9%
|WoW: ∇ Down 11%|
Truck Posting by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van ∇ Down 10%|
|WoW: Refrigerated ∇ Down 20%|
|WoW: Flatbed ∇ Down 11%|
Rates by Segment
|WoW: Dry Van Δ Up 16¢ per mile|
|WoW: Refrigerated Δ Up 30¢ per mile
|WoW: Flatbed Δ Up 6.5¢ per mile
Would you like to have your own copy of the trucking industry data? All of the information covered in this week’s report for May 12, 2021, is available for your convenience in PDF form below. Click the image to access and download your copy.
Hello everyone, it’s Wednesday, May 12th, 2021 and that means it’s time for the Weekly Report. For Randall-Reilly, I’m Joshua Miller. Before we jump into this week’s report, I do want to cover a few things really quick. For those of you watching us on YouTube, if you look down in the description of the video in addition to the usual newsletter and Weekly Insights PDF download links, you’ll find time stamps for each section of our report. Likewise, if you’re watching over on our blog, you’ll notice little chapter “nodes” or boxes right there in the play bar of the video. Each node marks the beginning of a new section, like this week in freight, story of the week, etc.
We’re always looking for new ways to make our content more useful and accessible for you and it’s our hope that by incorporating the time stamps on YouTube and the chapter nodes on our blog video player that it will assist you in getting the most out of our Weekly Reports.
One other note before we begin, tomorrow a brand-new Digging Deeper into Driver Recruiting will debut with a live webinar viewing. Dave and his guest, Kyle Jernigan will cover nine ways your fleet can recruit MORE drivers WITHOUT spending more money. So, I think it’s a topic many of you will find interesting. That viewing is tomorrow, Thursday, May 13th at 2pm CT.
This is a completely free webinar so I courage you to check it out. If you’d like to watch you do need to register though. You can do so by clicking the link down in the description on YouTube or in the body of our blog page. If you’re watching on our blog, I’ll also leave a link right up here in the video itself.
As a perk for joining the live viewing not only will you get early access to the episode itself but following the viewing Dave and Kyle will have a live Q&A session to answer any questions you may have about the material they covered or driver recruiting in general. The episode will be made available on YouTube and our blog a little bit later on, but the Q&A is exclusively for those who join us tomorrow. So, please take advantage of that, and sign up to join us tomorrow afternoon at 2pm CT.
Ok, I’m done with all the announcements so let’s get to why you’re here. Let’s get to this week’s report.
We saw an increase in click-through rate on truck driver postings on job boards as the search rate decreased and clicks increased. This makes the fifth consecutive week that clicks have increased suggesting that driver job search sentiment continues to grow, and drivers are actively looking for new opportunities. Now for the actual numbers.
Truck driver searches were down 8% WoW, but up 1% MoM, and 13% YoY. For clicks on truck driver postings we saw an increase of 8% WoW and 36% MoM, but a drop of 9% YoY
Load postings in the truckstop.com system rose by 12% setting another record high as all major haul segments saw increased load postings WoW. Dry van was up 30%, refrigerated jumped up by 32%, and flatbed rose by 3% WoW (which also happens to set a record high for the tenth time in eleven weeks for that segment).
Truck postings, however, decreased by 11% with each segment declining in volume WoW. Dry van was down 10%, refrigerated dropped by 20%, and flatbed fell by 11% WoW.
Spot rates were up by 9¢ per mile and set an all-time high for the fifth consecutive week. Dry van rates rose by 16¢, refrigerated was up by 30¢, and flatbed increased by 6 1/2 ¢ WoW. Both refrigerated and flatbed rates are all-time highs, with dry van spot rates falling just short of its record high levels.
Couple of things to note here. Load postings and rates in the truckstop.com system were already at record highs as we headed into one of the spot market’s biggest annual stress events: The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s International Roadcheck. The three-day driver/vehicle inspection spree occurred last week and resulted in a sharp increase of volume and rates as truck availability dropped. This led to records being set for loads, rates, and the ratio of loads to trucks.
International Roadcheck has historically been one of the hottest weeks of the year for the spot market as the event has typically seen drivers taking some time off. This tends to result in shippers and brokers seeking more capacity in the spot market. As a result, any week-over-week comparisons for this week are going to be disrupted. We can expect next week’s comparisons to be a little off as well as more trucks will likely become available again thus decreasing the amount of freight moved via the spot market.
The April jobs report is out and despite a clear demand for drivers, the gains continue to be slow. The number of jobs in truck transportation rose by 4,100 in April, or in more statistical terms that equates to an increase of .3% as compared to March.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, however, truck transportation lost 1,500 jobs. This can be slightly misleading because the lost jobs here are calculated based on the seasonal adjustment algorithm. According to that math, the industry was expected to create 5,600 jobs. So, anything below that number still registers as a decrease.
Economists primarily focus on seasonally adjusted figures because truck employment has always tended to be cyclical, and it has usually ended up adding jobs in the month of April. This usual seasonal pattern, however, may have shifted, so you when we’re talking about these numbers you may want to take it with a grain of salt. One thing that is for sure, is that despite months of increased pay and the strongest freight market in recent memory, trucking employment continues to remain sluggish.
Part of the issue could tie back to the stimulus checks and increased unemployment payouts as we’ve mentioned here on the report a few times. Some states are even discussing requiring proof of job searches to maintain benefits. This could lead to a bump in driver interest. But … if and when drivers re-enter the workforce, fleets will need to have a plan for those drivers who may have been off the road for a year … or more.
And that’s it for this week’s report. Don’t forget to register for that Digging Deeper viewing tomorrow and take advantage of those timestamps on and chapter nodes for easier navigation within the report. If you enjoyed the report do us a favor and share it! Over on YouTube you can like, subscribe, and click that bell so you get notifications when we post new content. If you’re watching on our blog, there’s a share button right there in the player. Until next Wednesday, have a great week everybody.