Van spot rates jump 5% on DAT network

Van spot rates jump 5% on DAT network

National average spot truckload rates continued an upward climb following the Memorial Day week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

A four-day work week would normally account for a 20-25% decline in the number of posted loads, but load availability was down just 9% during the week ending June 4—a good sign for the spot market, DAT notes. Load-to-truck ratios for vans, reefers, and flatbeds all increased as a result.

The national average spot van rate jumped 8 cents or 5.2% to $1.62/mile compared to the previous week. The reefer rate added 6 cents for a national average of $1.93/mile while the average flatbed rate was up 1 cent to $1.93/mile. The national average price of diesel rose 3 cents to $2.41/gallon, which pushed fuel surcharges up a penny for van and flatbed freight, and up 2 cents for reefers. 

While the number of loads posted fell 9%, the number of available trucks dropped off by 27%, more in line with a four-day workweek. The van load-to-truck ratio increased 31% to 2.5, the reefer ratio was up 13% to 4.6, and the flatbed ratio climbed 30% to 18.4.

There’s often a slump in reefer freight availability right after Memorial Day. Things were still trending upward, however, particularly in the Midwest. By region, spot rates for notable reefer markets include:

- West: Fresno, Calif., $2.13/mile, up 6 cents
- Midwest: Green Bay, Wisc., $2.40/mile, up 4 cents
- South Central: McAllen, Texas, $1.89/mile, unchanged
- Southeast: Lakeland, Fla., $1.70/mile, down 17 cents
- Northeast: Philadelphia, $2.16/mile, up 3 cents

Reefer rates have fallen sharply in Florida. The steep drop in volumes in the central part of the state has affected pricing out of Miami: the average rate from Miami to Baltimore, a key lane, plunged 61 cents to $2.26/mile.

Flatbed load availability was off 14% while capacity fell 33%. That led to a 30% increase in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio, at 18.4 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.

For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, visit DAT Trendlines.

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