Spot loads, rates weaker than expected

Spot loads, rates weaker than expected

The number of available loads on the spot truckload freight market rose 7% during the week ending July 16, but that's still well below the 20% expected following a holiday-shortened workweek, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Truck posts increased 37% and load-to-truck ratios dropped for all equipment types:

  • Van L/T ratio: 2.6 (down 26%)
  • Reefer L/T ratio: 4.7% (down 27%)
  • Flatbed L/T ratio: 13.4% (down 14%)

The average spot rate for reefer freight fell 4 cents to $1.98/mile during the week, still a penny higher than the national average in June. The van rate was $1.66/mile, also 4 cents higher than the June average. The national average flatbed rate gained 4 cents to $1.85/mile.

VANS: The number of van load posts gained 3% and truck posts rose 38% as outbound van rates declined in major markets. The highest average outbound van rates by region:

  • West: Los Angeles, $2.16/mile, down 8 cents
  • Midwest: Chicago, $1.91/mile, down 2 cents
  • South Central: Dallas, $1.58/mile, down 2 cents
  • Southeast: Charlotte, N.C., $2.07/mile, down 5 cents
  • Northeast: Allentown, Pa., $2.08/mile, down 2 cents

One bright spot, according to the DAT report: Memphis, where rates held steady at an average of $1.94/mile (up 1 cent). The Memphis-Columbus lane jumped 15 cents to $2.03/mile; that lane is associated with retail freight so this could be a sign of good things to come.

REEFERS: The number of reefer load posts dropped 4% while truck posts increased 32% for the week. Again, load activity was below expectations, DAT noted. 

Rates fell in major regional markets in the Southeast and West. The average outbound rate from Los Angeles fell 9 cents to $2.58/mile; Sacramento, Ontario, Fresno, and Twin Falls all had lower rates. 

On the Mexican border, the average outbound rate from McAllen, Texas, gained 7 cents to $1.82/mile and edged up on most high-volume lanes. Nogales, Ariz., meanwhile, fell 15 cents per mile with Nogales-Los Angeles plunging 39 cents to $1.67/mile.

FLATBEDS: Flatbed load availability added 18% and capacity increased 37%. National average flatbed rates recovered 4 cents to $1.89/mile, still 6 cents below the average rate for June.

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

TAGS: News
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