National average spot truckload rates climbed during the week ending Oct. 8 as load-to-truck ratios decreased across all three equipment types, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
These conditions are partly attributable to Hurricane Matthew, the report notes. The storm’s effects likely contributed to higher van rates and lower freight volumes as shippers paid more to move freight early in the week before reducing their activity later.
Inbound rates could go up in hard-hit areas like the Carolinas this week.
National Average Spot TL Rates
- Van: $1.68/mile, up 6 cents
- Reefer: $1.92/mile, up 1 cent
- Flatbed: $1.92/mile, up 4 cents
Load-to-Truck Ratios Fall
The van load-to-truck ratio dropped 9% to 2.8 for the week as the number of posted van loads fell 7% and truck posts rose 2%—unusual for a week with a 6-cent increase in the average van rate.
Reefer load posts declined 4% while truck posts increased 3%. The result: a 7% decline in the reefer load-to-truck ratio (5.6). The flatbed load-to-truck ratio fell 7% to 13.4 after flatbed load posts declined 6% and truck posts increased 1%.
The Hanjin Shipping Co. bankruptcy continues to affect demand on the West Coast, as Los Angeles was again the No. 1 market for van load posts by a wide margin. The load-to-truck ratio there was 7.4 (the national average was 2.8). Eastbound freight remained solid for carriers: L.A.-Elizabeth, N.J., averaged $1.74/mile.
Vans: Regional Focus
Van rates rose on more than half of the highest-volume lanes. The high-dollar market in each region:
- West: Los Angeles, $2.06/mile, up 4 cents
- South Central: Dallas, $1.50/mile, up 1 cent
- Southeast: Charlotte, $1.92/mile, up 3 cents
- Northeast: Buffalo, N.Y., $2.00/mile, up 6 cents
- Midwest: Chicago, $2.03/mile, up 2 cents
High-Dollar Reefer Lanes
Reefer rates were up and down, even among the high-dollar lanes by region:
- West: Ontario, Calif.-Phoenix, $2.86/mile, up 3 cents
- South Central: Dallas-Houston, $2.32/mile, down 7 cents
- Southeast: Atlanta-Lakeland, Fla., $2.70/mile, down 11 cents
- Northeast: Elizabeth-Boston, $3.53/mile, down 15 cents
- Midwest: Grand Rapids-Cleveland, $3.48/mile, up 2 cents
Also out of Grand Rapids, the lane to Atlanta dropped 53 cents to $2.23/mile, which gives you a good idea of how mixed the trends were last week.
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