National average spot truckload rates for refrigerated and flatbed freight increased during the week ending May 27, 2017, while the rate for van freight slipped due to a lower fuel surcharge and despite strong freight volumes, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
Overall, the number of available loads on DAT load boards rose 2.3% compared with the previous week, and posted capacity fell 0.7% as truckers parked equipment to avoid pre-Memorial Day weekend traffic.
Load-to-truck ratios for reefers and vans wound up higher for the week ending May 27:
•Reefer ratio—7.8, up 8%
•Van ratio—4.2 loads per truck, up 13%
•Flatbed ratio—34.2, down 11%
Reefer trends—The national average rate for reefers was $2.01/mile, up 2 cents over the previous week. Reefer load posts gained 9% while truck posts dropped 4%.
Central California produce volumes returned in a big way. Outbound reefer rates soared 13% to $2.41/mile in Fresno, led by several key lanes:
—Fresno-Denver CO surged 52 cents to $2.70/mile on average
—Fresno-Chicago IL was up 35 cents to $2.16/mile
The average length of haul for produce shipments was longer, which helped to soak up extra capacity and push rates higher. Two notable reefer lanes: Lakeland FL-Atlanta GA advanced 44 cents to $2.30/mile, and Miami FL-Baltimore MD climbed 35 cents to $2.63/mile.
Van trends—A one-cent drop in the national average fuel surcharge caused the van rate to dip a penny to $1.68/mile. Nationally, the number of posted van loads increased 12% while truck posts declined 2%, likely signaling the start of summer retail shipments.
Rates on the top 100 van lanes surged with the strongest showing of 2017, and outbound rates were up in almost every major van freight market:
—Los Angeles CA—$2.09/mile, up 7 cents
—Chicago—$1.93/mile, up 7 cents
—Houston TX—$1.82/mile, up 5 cents
—Charlotte NC—$2.06/mile, up 10 cents
—Philadelphia PA—$1.67/mile, up 2 cents
Flatbed trends—The national average flatbed rate moved one cent higher the week ending May 27 at $2.10/mile. Flatbed load posts decreased 7% while truck posts gained 4%. Los Angeles had the highest flatbed volumes outside of Texas. Flatbed rates are still volatile from one week to the next, so there are still some big drops, even if there aren’t many.
Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rates and capacity trends. All reported rates include fuel surcharges. For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, see www.dat.com/trendlines.