The number of available spot market loads fell 3.6% during the week ending Oct. 29 and the number of trucks was down 1.2%, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
For the month of October, load availability rose 2.8% and capacity was up 3.4% compared to September. Freight volume also exceeded 2015 levels for the month.
But rates did not catch up to the previous year's highs. And week-over-week, average rates slipped 1 cent for vans ($1.65/mile), held firm for reefers ($1.90/mile), and was up a penny for flatbeds ($1.92/mile).
Load-to-truck ratios were mixed:
- Van L/T ratio: 2.7. Unchanged
- Reefer L/T ratio: 6.0. Up 2%
- Flatbed L/T ratio: 14.4. Down 8%
AVERAGE SPOT RATES
- Van: The national average van rate edged down 1 cent to $1.65/mile
- Reefer: Reefer rates held steady at a national average of $1.90/mile
- Flatbed: The national average flatbed rate added 1 cent due to rising fuel surcharges. The average rate was $1.92/mile
Van load availability and truck posts both slipped 1%, which caused the load-to-truck ratio to remain at 2.7 loads loads per truck. Rates barely moved on a majority of lanes, but volumes rose significantly in Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles as van freight volume continued to gain from west to east. Rates fell in major Northeast markets.
Top van markets by region:
- West: Los Angeles, $2.07/mile, up 2 cents
- South Central: Dallas, $1.51/mile, down 1 cent
- Midwest: Chicago, $2.01/mile, up 1 cent
- Northeast: Allentown, Pa., $1.95/mile, down 2 cents
- Southeast: Charlotte, N.C., $1.90/mile, up 3 cents after falling sharply in the previous week, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew
Reefer load posts declined less than 1% last week, while truck posts were down 2.5%.
Reefer volumes in California slumped, which hurt the national picture last week. There was much more regional movement with refrigerated freight than there was with van freight, though, so there’s evidence of a pre-Thanksgiving push.
Key reefer lanes from last week:
- Ontario, Calif.-Phoenix rebounded 20 cents to an average of $3.03/mile.
- Green Bay-Des Moines added 20 cents to an average of $1.93/mile.
- Twin Falls-Los Angeles paid an average of $1.97/mile, 20 cents better than the previous week.
- Atlanta-Lakeland, Fla., was off 11 cents to $2.76/mile
- There’s also a lot of poultry shipping out of northern Georgia this time of year, so those factors combined led to a 24-cent drop on the lane from Elizabeth, N.J.-Atlanta, which paid $1.54/mile last week.
Flatbed load posts declined 8% last week, as truck posts increased less than 1%.
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