During the week ending Jan. 27, DAT said dry van and flatbed rates each fell a penny to $2.26 per mile and $2.39 per mile, respectively, while spot rates for refrigerated or “reefer” freight decreased three cents to $2.67 per mile as produce and other temperature-controlled goods experienced what the company called a “seasonal lull.”
Furthermore, spot load-to-truck ratios are easing off from record highs as the number of available loads fell 3% during the week ending Jan. 27 while capacity increased 8.3% compared to the previous week:
- Dry van: 8.5 available loads per truck, down from 9.8
- Flatbed: 53.9 loads per truck, unchanged
- Reefer: 12.8 loads per truck, falling from 12.8
Spot dry van freight volumes declined 5% and truck posts increased 10%, DAT noted, forcing spot rates down in several big TL markets:
- Chicago: down 15 cents to $2.92 per mile
- Columbus, OH: down nine cents to $2.78 per mile
- Philadelphia: down 10 cents to $2.34 per mile
- Charlotte, NC: down five cents to $2.57 per mile
- Los Angeles: down 12 cents to $2.42 per mile
In the reefer market, load posts fell 14% and truck posts increased 4%, which helped push down the national average spot rate for reefer service despite strong prices in key markets, such as Green Bay, which was up 18 cents to $4.18 per mile, DAT said
Still, spot rates dipped in other key reefer lanes, such as: McAllen, TX (down four cents to $2.95 per mile); Atlanta (down four cents to $2.89 per mile), and Los Angeles (down 13 cents to $3.19 per mile), the firm noted.
Spot prices for flatbed freight remain seasonally high, however. Even though the national average flatbed rate slipped a penny a mile for the week ending Jan. 27 compared to the previous week, it’s been “buoyed” in DAT’s words by stronger construction and oilfield activity.