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Spot Van, Refrigerated Freight Rates Improve Slightly

July 8, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Average spot truckload rates last week rose for van and refrigerated loads but dipped for flatbeds compared to the previous week, according to DAT Solutions, the operator of the DAT network of load boards.

The national average spot van rate recovered 1.1% to $1.91 per mile, including surcharge, as van rates continue to climb in key markets in the Southeast and California.

Van load-posting activity fell 16% and truck posts declined 20%, pushing the load-to-truck ratio up 5.4% and resulting in 2.4 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.

The national average spot refrigerated freight rate was up 0.5% to $2.22 per mile, as rates continued to trend up in Sacramento and Dallas.

Load posts for reefers dropped 17% last week, and truck posts dropped 21% due to the short holiday week. Despite this, the national average reefer load-to-truck ratio was up 4.8%, to 6.4 reefer loads per truck.

The national average rate for flatbeds edged down 0.5% to $2.18 per mile. Rates rose in Savannah, Dallas, and Fort Worth, but dropped in Pittsburgh.

Typical of a holiday-shortened week, the number of flatbed load posts declined 25% last week while truck posts dropped 14%, said DAT. This caused the flatbed load-to-truck ratio to fall 13% to 16.6 loads per truck.

With July 4 falling on a Saturday, demand ebbed toward the end of the week, leading to a 20% overall decline in load and truck posts. However, van and reefer rates typically rise during the first week of July as shippers close the month and the quarter, and food deliveries increase for the Independence Day holiday.

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