This is a weekly series that brings the insights we use to get your shipments from A to B from our carrier sales floor to your home office.
This week Loadsmart’s Capacity Solutions Manager, Jimmy Fahey, breaks down what happened last week and what to expect this week in the freight market in less than 60 seconds.
What We Saw Last Week
- DOE/EIA weekly retail diesel prices rose for the 14th consecutive week. Diesel prices in all markets continue to rise and show no signs of slowing, particularly with the cold weather gripping much of the US. Diesel prices have returned to levels last seen in early March 2020, before the full impact of COVID-19. Demand has remained robust through freight transportation and is ahead of year-ago levels; though domestic gasoline is down 10% and jet fuel down 34%.
- Federal regulators issued a fourth extension to the HOS waiver that was set to expire on Feb 28th. The exemption to the HOS rules for drivers was first issued on March 12, 2020 in response to the pandemic. The recent extension will go through May 31st and included a new restriction to those operating a vehicle in a condition likely to cause an accident or breakdown and operating a vehicle declared and marked out of service until all repairs have been completed.
- New weekly unemployment claims pulled back slightly but held at elevated levels last week, and the prior week’s new claims were upwardly revised as the pandemic exerted more pressure on the labor market. Initial claims ended the week of Feb. 6th at 793,000 vs. 760,000 as expected and a revised 812,000 during the prior week. This brought new claims for the week ended Feb. 6 to the lowest level in 5 weeks and, despite last week’s upward revision, the four-week moving average for new claims fell by 33,500 to 823,000. Based on the latest data however, 20.4 million Americans are still claiming benefits of some form, marking an increase of more than 2.5 million from a prior week.