Fleet Management

Spot Market Flatbed, Reefer Rates Edge Higher

May 27, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Rates in two out of the three major spot market freight sectors posted slight gains over the past week while remaining in a holding pattern for dry vans.

Both reefers and flatbeds each gained 0.5% from May 17 through May 23 compared to the previous week, hitting their highest levels out of the past four weeks, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards.

Reefers clocked in a national average of $2.18 per mile while flatbeds were at $2.19 per mile.

The average rate for vans, in contrast, was unchanged for the third straight week at $1.85 per mile, though it did rise in some high volume outbound lanes from Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles.

This happened as the total amount of freight to move on the spot market fell 1.1% while overall spot market truck capacity increased 0.6%.

Load-to-truck ratios were affected by the overall changes with it falling just 2.6% for dry vans to 2.3 loads per truck as van freight availability fell 2.2% and van truck capacity edged 0.4% higher.

The reefer load-to-truck ratio was unchanged at six loads per truck as an increase in demand for reefers was met with a near-equal gain in reefer truck capacity.

In contrast, the reefer load-to-truck ratio retreated 0.7% from the week before to 19.6 loads per truck as flatbed load availability slipped 1.4% and reefer truck capacity declined 0.7%.

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