Spot truckload market freight volume climbs; average rates fall

Spot truckload market freight volume climbs; average rates fall

The volume of loads posted on the spot truckload market increased 5.6% during the week ending October 15, 2016, while posted capacity was almost unchanged (up 0.5%), reports DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Nationally, the average van load-to-truck ratio was up 9% to 2.9 while the reefer ratio climbed 4% to 5.8. At 14.7, the flatbed ratio was up 10%. However, national average spot TL rates declined across all three equipment types:

•Reefer—$1.91/mile, down 1 cent

•Van—$1.66/mile, down 2 cents

•Flatbed—$1.92/mile, unchanged

Reefer trends

Reefer load posts were up 4% the week ending October 15 while truck posts were unchanged. Average reefer rates were cooler than expected. High-dollar markets by region:

•West—Los Angeles CA, $2.37, down 2 cents

•South Central—McAllen TX, $1.79/mile, up 10 cents

•Southeast—Atlanta GA, $2.25/mile, unchanged

•Northeast—Philadelphia PA, $2.36/mile, down 5 cents

•Midwest—Grand Rapids MI, $2.98/mile, down 13 cents

Also out of Atlanta, the lane to Lakeland FL dropped 11 cents to $2.70/mile, while Lakeland-outbound averaged $1.15/mile, down 6 cents. The trends remained mixed.

Van trends

Freight started moving into Florida again the week ending October 15 after Hurricane Matthew put shipments on hold. Volumes doubled from Charlotte NC to Lakeland, which pushed the average rate up 38 cents to $2.65/mile. Atlanta to Lakeland jumped up 16 cents to $2.56/mile.

Van rates were generally higher throughout the Southeast. Atlanta reclaimed the top spot for van load posts as more freight left there for areas affected by the storm and Interstate 95 closures. The average Atlanta-outbound rate rose 5 cents to $1.91/mile.

Nationwide, rates climbed on more than half of the highest-volume lanes. The high-dollar market in each region:

•West—Los Angeles, $2.05/mile, up 1 cent

•South Central—Dallas TX, $1.53/mile, up 2 cents

•Southeast—Charlotte, $2.08/mile, up 13 cents

•Northeast—Buffalo NY, $1.99/mile, down 2 cents

•Midwest—Chicago IL, $1.99/mile, down 3 cents

Flatbed trends

In the week after Hurricane Matthew, flatbed load posts increased 10% while truck posts held steady, elevating the average load-to-truck ratio. The top five markets for flatbed load posts: Little Rock AR, Cleveland OH, Shreveport LA, Spokane WA, and Portland OR.

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.

Go to for more information about load availability and rates.

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