Spot Truckload Rates Generally Hold, Demand for Capacity Rises

November 30, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Pre-Thanksgiving shipping boosted demand for vans and refrigerated capacity on the spot truckload market during the week ending Nov. 21, but it barely had a positive result on rates.

The total number of load posted increased 7.1% compared to the previous week while capacity was essentially unchanged, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Even though demand was up, the national average truckload van rate on the spot market held at $1.70 per mile. Average outbound rates rose in key markets including Los Angeles, up 4 cents to $2.01 per mile and Philadelphia, up 3 cents to $1.70; but slipped in Buffalo, down 7 cents to $1.85; Columbus, down 1 cent to $1.84; and Chicago, down 1 cent to $1.98.

All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

Van load availability jumped 13% while posted capacity was down 0.8%. The load-to-truck ratio rose 14% resulting in 1.8 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.

The national average spot rate for refrigerated freight rose 1 cent to $1.93 per mile. Prices surged in the West: outbound reefer rates in Sacramento rose 21 cents per mile; 13 cents in Twin Falls, Idaho; 10 cents in Fresno; and 9 cents in Ontario, Calif.. Los Angeles prices rose 1 cent while the average per-mile rate in Nogales, Ariz., added 4 cents.

Nationally, reefer load availability increased 16% and truck capacity rose 2%. The reefer load-to-truck ratio rose 14% to 4.6 loads per truck.

Flatbed load availability on the spot market fell 8% and truck posts were increased just 0.7%.

The national flatbed load-to-truck ratio fell another 7% to 5.8 while the national average flatbed rate continued to sag, dropping 3 cents to $1.92 per mile, also down 8 cents from the last week of October.

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