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For spot truckload freight, August starts as hot as July

For spot truckload freight, August starts as hot as July

The surge of freight during the last full week of July continued into the week ending August 5, 2017, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

August had a stronger start than any month in more than a year and a half. The number of posted loads was nearly unchanged compared with the previous week while available capacity fell 2.1%.

National average refrigerated, van and flatbed rates all increased.

Reefer load posts gained 4% and truck posts fell 2% nationally. The average reefer rate rose 4 cents to $2.12/mile.

For van freight, load posts edged up 2% while truck posts lost 3%, bumping the van load-to-truck ratio from 5.2 to 5.5. The national average van rate climbed 3 cents to $1.82/mile, higher than the average rates for June and July. The biggest rate jumps were on lanes heading to retail distribution centers in the Northeast in advance of back-to-school shopping season.

Buffalo NY saw the largest average rate gain of any major van market the week ending August 5, up 11 cents to $1.98/mile. Other key outbound markets: Chicago IL, $2.15/mile, up 7 cents; Dallas TX, $1.74/mile, up 2 cents; Los Angeles CA, $2.12/mile, down 1 cent; and Atlanta GA, $2.09/mile, down a penny.

Flatbed load posts declined 7% the week ending August 5 while the number of truck posts rose 2%. At $2.22/mile, the national average flatbed rate was 3 cents higher than the previous week. Overall, 18% more flatbed loads moved the week ending August 5 than the week before, and rates are holding up well—especially in the Midwest. Rock Island IL averaged $2.75/mile (up 25 cents) while Cleveland OH hit $2.25/mile, up 17 cents.

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, visit

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