Spot truckload market exits August with higher rates

Spot truckload market exits August with higher rates

The spot truckload market finished August on the rise as the number of available loads jumped 8.4% during the week ending September 3, 2016, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Nationally, the average reefer rate added 3 cents, the van rate gained 6 cents, and the flatbed rate picked up a penny after a mostly lackluster month.

Load-to-truck ratios got a healthy boost, an indication that the higher rates may outlast end-of-month and pre-holiday pressure.

Reefer trends—The number of reefer load posts increased 11% the week ending September 3 while capacity declined 2%. That boosted the reefer load-to-truck ratio 14% to 6.6 loads per truck. The national average reefer rate gained 3 cents to $1.92/mile including a 1-cent rise in the fuel surcharge.

In California, average outbound rates were generally strong including a 5-cent jump in the rate from Los Angeles ($2.46/mile). Idaho potato harvests led to higher volumes out of Twin Falls, but outbound rates slipped leading up to the Labor Day weekend.

Several key reefer freight lanes remained strong:

—Atlanta GA-LakelandFL: $2.84/mile, up 6 cents

—Elizabeth NJ-Boston MA: $3.55/mile, down 3 cents

—Chicago IL outbound: $2.35/mile, up 14¢

Van trends—Van load posts climbed 13% and truck posts fell 2% for a 3.2 load-to-truck ratio, the highest ratio since July. The spike in freight volume pushed the national average van rate to $1.66/mile, a 6-cent gain compared with the previous week.

In the Midwest, a 4% increase in freight volume sparked an 8-cent-per-mile jump to $1.99/mile on outbound lanes from Chicago. Rates out of Columbus OH averaged $1.90/mile, up 6 cents.

Van volumes and rates were strong in the Southeast: Charlotte NC gained 6 cents to $1.94/mile, Atlanta was up 4 cents to $1.87/mile, and Memphis TN added 4 cents to $1.86/mile. Other top-paying markets by region:

—West: Los Angeles, $2.02/mile (up 2 cents)

—South Central: Houston TX, $1.50/mile (up 3 cents)

—Northeast: Allentown PA, $2.09/mile (up 10 cents)

Flatbed trends—The number of flatbed load posts was steady while truck posts advanced 4%. That pushed the load-to-truck ratio up 4% to 10.1 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate was up a penny (due to the fuel surcharge) at $1.91/mile.

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.

Get the latest rate trends at

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