Truckload Rates were up 8.6 percent year-over-year to end 2011 with a rise of 0.7 percent in December from the previous month. The Cass Index rose to 109.2 last month, up from 108.4 in November as the holiday season was coming to a close. This comes at the end of a year where spot rates rose 7.4 percent, with contract rates up an average of 6.5 percent.
Analysts anticipate the rates to keep rising in the first quarter of 2012, with market demand expected to put some pressure on capacity. Shippers are hoping for rates to increase in the 4 to 5 percent range, but carriers expect increases over 8 percent or more.