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

TAGS: News
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