Fleet Management

Spot Freight Rates for Vans, Reefers Rise Sharply

October 12, 2017

By Evan Lockridge

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Spot truckload rates hit multi-year highs during the week ending Oct. 7, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards, as the number of available loads fell.

The 3% decline in freight availability following the close of the third quarter and generally tight capacity kept spot load-to-truck ratios elevated:

  • Van: 6.7 available loads per truck
  • Flatbed: 46.7 loads per truck
  • Refrigerated: 12.4 loads per truck

National average spot truckload rates, which include fuel surcharges, jumped significantly compared to the previous week:

  • Van: $2.09 per mile, up 12 cents
  • Flatbed: $2.31 per mile, up 4 cents
  • Reefer: $2.37 per mile, up 14 cents

The market for van freight remains solid despite a 6% decline in volume and 1% increase in truck posts last week, according to DAT. In Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, higher reefer load counts in the region contributed to tighter van capacity, meaning that fewer reefer trucks were competing for van loads. Rerouted port traffic from Houston to Seattle after Hurricane Harvey may have added to demand for trucks in the area.

In the spot reefer market, both load posts and truck posts were unchanged from the previous week. The national average reefer rate moved higher due to seasonal demand and relief efforts following Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

The number of flatbed load posts dipped 1% and truck posts increased 6%, with rebuilding efforts in Florida and the Gulf Coast driving demand for flatbed capacity.

 

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