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Continued capacity tightness, higher rates expected in ’21

It’s a tale of two economies in 2021. The good news for trucking is that the goods economy will outpace the overall economy, and with no quick end to capacity tightness in sight, that should translate to higher rates for truckers.

That was one of the conclusions from industry forecaster FTR during its most recent State of Freight webinar Jan. 14. Avery Vise, FTR’s vice-president of trucking, said contract rates should be up about 11% year-over-year in 2021, as they tend to lag the spot market by six to eight months.

Spot market rates should also climb, about 4-4.5%, Vise added. Rates ended 2020 up about 3% versus 2019, despite all the volatility caused by the Covid-19 breakout in March.

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