Spot market maintains balance over holiday

Spot market maintains balance over holiday

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 Nov. 26.

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

  • Van L/T: 2.9 (up 1%)
  • Reefer L/T: 6.0 (down 9%)
  • 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:

  • Vans: $1.66/mile, down 1 cent 
  • Reefers: $1.95/mile, up 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 to the previous week at $2.42/gallon.

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

Regional Strength: The van market remains solid in key regional markets: 

  • Chicago, $2.11/mile, up 5 cents
  • Dallas, $1.55/mile, up 2 cents
  • Charlotte, $1.97/mile, up 5 cents
  • Buffalo, N.Y., $1.99/mile, up 1 cent
  • Los Angeles, $2.15/mile, up 3 cents

Southeastern Swing: Average outbound van rates increased in three major Southeast markets last week: The rate rose 7 cents in Atlanta ($1.94/mile), 5 cents in Charlotte ($1.97/mile), and 3 cents in Memphis ($1.92/mile).

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

Florida Surge: 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 to an atypical $1.64/mile, while rates from Lakeland gained 8 cents to $1.24/mile.

Reefer Lanes With Gains:

  • Dallas-Houston: $2.44/mile, up 16 cents
  • Dallas-Phoenix: $1.25/mile, up 6 cents
  • Ontario, Calif.-Phoenix: $2.97/mile, up 5 cents


Flatdeck Ratio Rises: Flatbed load posts declined 33.7% and truck posts fell 34.3%, causing the load-to-truck ratio to increase 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.

Get the latest rate trends at DAT.com

TAGS: News
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