Fleet Management

Spot Freight Volumes Rise in Late July Push, Rates Move Little

August 02, 2017

By Evan Lockridge

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An unusual surge of truckload freight led to higher-than-normal volume on the spot market for the week ending July 29, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards, but it failed to turn into any substantial rate increases.

The number of available loads increased 2% while truck posts edged down 2% compared to the previous week. Typically, July is a month when spot truckload freight activity begins to decline.

National average load-to-truck ratios stayed firm with the van load to truck ratio at 5.3 to 1, up from 4.8 to 1 the previous week. Flatbeds remained at 36.1 to 1 and reefers held at 8.5 to 1.

In the van market, the top 100 van lanes set all-time records for volumes last week. Nationally, load posts increased 6% and posted truck capacity decreased 2%. However, rates did not respond with the national average van rate falling 2 cents to $1.79 per mile, down from $1.90 per mile for the week ending July 8. (All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.)

Outbound average van rates also declined in several major markets:

  • Chicago, $2.08 per mile, down 1 cent
  • Los Angeles, $2.15 per mile, down 3 cents
  • Houston, $1.76 mile, down 3 cents
  • Charlotte, $2.16 per mile, down 3 cents

Reefer demand remains strong for late July as load posts increased 5% and truck posts declined 2%. The national average rate fell 1 cent to $2.08 per mile, its lowest level out of the past four weeks.

Regionally, harsh weather is taking a toll on crops but several lanes showed solid gains:

  • Grand Rapids-Cleveland added 50 cents to $4.12 per mile
  • Grand Rapids-Madison rose 32 cents to $3.19 per mile
  • Chicago-Atlanta was up 32 cents to $2.59 per mile
  • Sacramento-Denver added 26 cents to $2.55 per mile

The highest outbound average reefer rate last week was Green Bay, a penny higher than the week before at $2.88 per mile.

Flatbed load posts declined 1% last week while truck posts fell 4%. At $2.19 mile, the national average flatbed rate was 1 cent higher compared to the previous week but still lower than where it was two weeks earlier.

 

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