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Spot Freight Rates Increase Across the Board

June 10, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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The number of available loads on the spot truckload market jumped 36% during the week ending June 6 as capacity increased 5.5%, helping push rates higher.

New figures released by DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards, show the supply-demand imbalance increased national average van rate 2.7% to $1.90 per mile.

The average reefer rate rose 1.8% to $2.23 while the flatbed rate edged up 0.5% to $2.19.

Typically, load and truck posts increase 20% to 25% after a holiday-shortened workweek, according to DAT. The capacity pressure may have been related to carriers and owner-operators parking their trucks during Roadcheck, the commercial vehicle inspection blitz on June 2-4.

In the van market, DAT reported that load posts were up 32% but truck posts increased only 7.5%. The imbalance sent the national van load-to-truck ratio up 23%, meaning there were three available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network. 

Average outbound van rates rose in several key markets including Los Angeles, up 8 cents to $2.17 per mile and Atlanta up 11 cents to $2.17 a mile.

Flatbed load availability rose 38% but capacity added just 5.5%. The resulting load-to-truck ratio climbed 31% to 30 flatbed loads per truck.

Demand for reefers increased 37.5% and capacity lost 1% as the load-to-truck ratio surged up 37.5% to 7.3 reefer loads per truck.

Rates continue to trend down in Florida but outbound rates are rising along the Mexican border in Texas and Arizona.

In a related development, DAT said this week in its blog that Texas has now surpassed California when it comes to freight volume in this sector.

According to DAT Analyst Mark Montague, one of the three main reasons is due to more produce coming into the U.S. from Mexico.

You can read more about this in the DAT Blog.

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