Drivers

Spot Freight Rates Increased as September Ended

October 09, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Freight rates are generally up on the spot market while the amount of available freight has declined a little.

Credit: DAT
Credit: DAT

The freight-matching service provider DAT reports from Sept. 29 through October 5 spot market load availability fell 0.5% from the previous seven days.

This came as load-to-truck ratios improved across the board with it being led by a 6.4% increase for vans, followed by a 3.2% hike for reefers and a 0.4% gain for flatbeds.

Rates for flatbeds saw the biggest increase, adding 4.2% during the comparable periods, for an average of $2.22 per mile, the best out of the last four weeks. DAT notes load volume dropped, so this may be a temporary, end-of-quarter spike.

Van rates also turned in its best performance out of the last month, increasing 3.2% to $1.92 per mile, but two key hubs in Chicago and L.A. were down, which could signal a slow down in the weeks to come.

In contrast, reefer rates were unchanged at $2.15 per mile, but when September is compared to August, reefer rates rose 2.9% to an average of $2.15 per mile in September.

Writing for the DAT Freight Talk Blog, DAT Analyst Mark Montague noted Monday marked the end of the month and the end of the third quarter, which coincided with the end of the U.S. government's fiscal year. “Some corporations also ended their fiscal year on Monday, and we saw a surge of freight on the spot market last week to close the books on a high note,” he wrote.

He said the word out of California is that a surge of freight is arriving at the Port of L.A. and Long Beach, and logistics companies in the Golden State are seeing a lot of action right now. “That bodes well for Christmas retail orders, despite a recent dip in consumer confidence,” he said.

Montague also pointed out that the recent government shutdown has left trucking without the weeklu USDA Fruit and Vegetable Truckload Rate Report, forcing him to rely on his resources at DAT to produce his own similar report.

You can take a look at it by logging on to the DAT website (

Freight rates are generally up on the spot market while the amount of available freight has declined a little.

The freight-matching service provider DAT reports from Sept. 29 through October 5 spot market load availability fell 0.5% from the previous seven days.

This came as load-to-truck ratios improved across the board with it being led by a 6.4% increase for vans, followed by a 3.2% hike for reefers and a 0.4% gain for flatbeds.

Rates for flatbeds saw the biggest increase, adding 4.2% during the comparable periods, for an average of $2.22 per mile, the best out of the last four weeks. DAT notes load volume dropped, so this may be a temporary, end-of-quarter spike.

Van rates also turned in its best performance out of the last month, increasing 3.2% to $1.92 per mile, but two key hubs in Chicago and L.A. were down, which could signal a slow down in the weeks to come.

In contrast, reefer rates were unchanged at $2.15 per mile, but when September is compared to August, reefer rates rose 2.9% to an average of $2.15 per mile in September.

Writing for the DAT Freight Talk Blog, DAT Analyst Mark Montague noted Monday marked the end of the month and the end of the third quarter, which coincided with the end of the U.S. government's fiscal year. “Some corporations also ended their fiscal year on Monday, and we saw a surge of freight on the spot market last week to close the books on a high note,” he wrote.

He said the word out of California is that a surge of freight is arriving at the Port of L.A. and Long Beach, and logistics companies in the Golden State are seeing a lot of action right now. “That bodes well for Christmas retail orders, despite a recent dip in consumer confidence,” he said.

Montague also pointed out that the recent government shutdown has left trucking without the weeklu USDA Fruit and Vegetable Truckload Rate Report, forcing him to rely on his resources at DAT to produce his own similar report.

You can take a look at it by logging on to the DAT website which Montague says he will publish until the USDA comes back on line with its weekly summary. 

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