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Spot Truckload Freight Rates Continue Seasonal Strength

June 22, 2016

By Evan Lockridge

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Four-week spot freight market trends. Graphic: DAT
Four-week spot freight market trends. Graphic: DAT

Seasonal increases in spot truckload freight rates are continuing, even as the fuel prices that make up part of those spot rates declined slightly, according to new figures posted by the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.

Both flatbed and reefer rates posted an average gain of 2 cents for the week ending June 18 compared to the previous week, coming in at an average of $1.95 per mile and $1.96 per mile, respectively. Compared to three weeks earlier, flatbeds are up 3 cents but reefers are 9 cents higher.

Reefer demand remained strong last week, although numbers were down compared to the previous week, which was the first full week following Memorial Day. Reefer load posts declined 4% while truck posts increased 7.8%. The load-to-truck ratio fell 11%, from 5.9 to 5.3 loads per truck, but that represents the second highest ratio since early January, according to DAT.

Flatbed load posts dropped 1.8% following a spike the previous week. Capacity added 9.7%, which dropped the load-to-truck ratio 10% to 18.2 loads per truck.

In the dry van sector, the average rate was unchanged from the week before at an average of $1.61 per mile. This is 1 cent lower than two weeks ago but 7 cents higher than three weeks earlier.

The van load-to-truck ratio remained strong last week, although down 12% from the previous week. Van load posts were down 2.9% last week after spiking the week before while truck posts were up 10%. The load-to-truck ratio hit its second highest mark of the year, at 2.7 loads per truck, according to DAT.

Overall, DAT’s spot market saw the number of available loads fall 2.7% last week while available truck capacity increased 9.7% as fuel prices edged down 0.2%.

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