Bricks Meets Clicks’ recently published grocery shopping survey reported that U.S. online grocery sales totaled $9.3 billion in March. This is almost identical to January’s record spending levels.
March 2021’s grocery spending is a 43% increase compared to the $6.5 billion in sales in March 2020. This quantifies the disruptive impact of a pandemic that continues to alter the way people get their groceries.
The survey found that:
- More than 69 million households placed an average of 2.8 online orders in March 2021
- The delivery/pickup segment accounts for more than 75% of total online grocery sales
- Ship-to-home segment lost 27% of its monthly users compared to March of last year
“In terms of order share, the ship-to-home segment had captured the largest share of orders before the pandemic and even during March 2020,” notes the survey. “Over the past year, ship-to-home has ceded nearly 19 percentage points of order share to the delivery and pickup segments. Today, pickup is the dominant way online orders are received in the U.S.”
All rates exclude fuel unless otherwise noted.
Produce markets dominate the Top 10 this week where reefer load posts jumped 30%. Spot rates also increased by $0.03/mile to an average of $2.69/mile — $0.08/mile higher than the average for all 135 markets.
- Miami had a 9% increase in volume this week (same as last year) and tightening capacity pushed spot rates up by $0.10/mile to $2.46/mile
- Lakewood, FL, is in produce season and saw volumes spike by 24%, increasing spot rates by $0.07/mile to $2.16/mile
- Los Angeles had increased volumes and spot rates rose $0.07 mile to $3.16/mile
- Ontario, CA, had increased volumes and spot rates rose $0.07/mile to $3.37/mile
- San Francisco had increased volumes and spot rates rose $0.07/mile to $2.80/mile
This is peak shipping season for Mother’s Day flowers. The focus will be on Miami, where 90% of flowers arrive from Ecuador and Columbia in the three weeks leading up to May 9.
Spot rates forecast
Reefer spot rates cooled slightly last week, dropping by just $0.01/mile to a national average of $2.61/mile. Compared to the same week in 2020 when rates were $1.64/mile, reefer spot rates are now $0.97/mile higher and still $0.52/mile higher than this time in 2018.
How to interpret the rate forecast:
- Ratecast: DAT’s core forecasting model
- Short Term Scenario: Formerly the pessimistic model that focuses on a more near-term historical dataset
- Blended Scenario: More heavily weighted towards the longer-term models
- Blended Scenario v2: More heavily weighted towards the shorter-term models