The price shippers pay on the spot market is increasing alongside demand. "We are seeing spot rates accelerate upwards," Adamo said. Van rates were up 3% and reefer rates were up 2% between March 9 and March 15, according to DAT.
Given the circumstances, shippers are "going to pay more if they shift to the spot market. But if they don't have the capacity, that's sort of a thing that they're forced to do," Adamo said.
One reason for the reduction in capacity on the spot market could be the result of carriers shifting capacity away from the spot market to help with contract shippers, he said.
Retailers like Costco and others have been struggling to keep some items in stock in recent days as consumers prepare for long stays at home.
Shippers are willing to incur the higher cost of freight even for deliveries with fewer items as they look to keep items in-stock, Suketu Gandhi, a partner at Kearney, told Supply Chain Dive in an interview.