Despite short workweek, spot market stays healthy

Despite short workweek, spot market stays healthy

With shippers on a shorter workweek and more travelers and shoppers on the roadways, the number of loads posted to the DAT network of load boards fell 30% and available trucks dropped 28% during the week ending November 26, 2016.

Overall the spot truckload freight market maintained its strength. The refrigerated L/T ratio declined while van and flatbed load-to-truck ratios increased slightly:

•Reefer L/T—6.0 (down 9%)

•Van L/T—2.9 (up 1%)

•Flatbed L/T—14.8 (up 1.0%)

Rates rose on high-traffic lanes, but adjustments to national average rates were small given weaker rates on many traditional backhaul lanes:

•Reefers—$1.95/mile, up 1 cent

•Vans—$1.66/mile, down 1 cent

•Flatbeds—$1.89/mile, down 2 cents

Those rates include a fuel surcharge. The average price of on-highway diesel was unchanged compared with the previous week at $2.42/gallon.

Reefers: Reefer load posts dropped 29% the week ending November 26 and truck posts fell 22%, an expected decline given the short workweek.

Reefer rates out of Florida are never great this time of year, but truckers got an off-season boost. Average rates jumped 15 cents coming out of Miami FL to an atypical $1.64/mile, while rates from Lakeland FL gained 8 cents to $1.24/mile.

Reefer lanes with gains:

•Dallas TX-Houston TX—$2.44/mile, up 16 cents

•Dallas-Phoenix AZ—$1.25/mile, up 6 cents

•Ontario CA-Phoenix—$2.97/mile, up 5 cents

Vans: Van load posts declined 27% and truck posts fell 28% week over week, in line with expectations for a short week.

The van market remains solid in key regional markets:

•Chicago IL—$2.11/mile, up 5 cents

•Dallas—$1.55/mile, up 2 cents

•Charlotte NC—$1.97/mile, up 5 cents

•Buffalo NY—$1.99/mile, up 1 cent

•Los Angeles CA—$2.15/mile, up 3 cents

Average outbound van rates increased in three major Southeast markets the week ending November 26. The rate rose 7 cents in Atlanta GA ($1.94/mile), 5 cents in Charlotte ($1.97/mile), and 3 cents in Memphis TN ($1.92/mile).

Flatbeds: Flatbed load posts plunged 33.7% and truck posts sunk 34.3%, causing the load-to-truck ratio to rise 1% to 14.8 loads per truck.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, go to

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