Still Going Up: Cowen/AFS’s First Quarter Freight Index Predicts Massive Rise In Shipping Costs For Early 2022

Olympians aren’t the only ones who will be setting records this winter.

AFS Logistics and Cowen Research have just released the latest version of their new Freight Index, and all signs point to unprecedented transportation expenses across all modes.

“Our data and forecasting models indicate that shippers should expect and plan for the higher costs from the last quarter of 2021—which included the peak holiday season—to continue into the first quarter of 2022,” said Tom Nightingale, Chief Executive Officer at AFS Logistics. “It’s a perfect storm that’s led to rising shipping rates across the board. When you combine historically high GRIs with escalating surcharges, the usual mitigating factors such as reduced weight or shorter distance aren’t enough to counterbalance the carrier’s pricing power and the resulting higher rates.”

Jason Seidl, Cowen’s Senior Analyst for Airfreight & Surface Transportation, agreed: “The two LTL GRIs in 2021—one in February and another in November—were a double whammy for shippers. This gave carriers significant pricing power, and they’re leveraging it.”

Seidl added that, “The gap between the published parcel General Rate Increases and realized pricing is as large as we have seen in quite some time, which should aid carriers.”

The Cowen/AFS Freight Index is a quarterly performance snapshot that includes predictive pricing tools for multiple sectors within the freight industry. It offers a forward-looking comprehensive view that leverages both past performance and a forecast based on machine-learning algorithms. The predictions are derived from AFS Logistics’ freight data across transportation modes including truckload, LTL, parcel express and parcel ground sectors.

To view details about specific predictions by mode, see this month’s Stat’s Incredible story. Or visit our Freight Index page for more detailed insights and analysis.

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