Spot Truckload Freight Rates Stay in Place

June 29, 2016

By Evan Lockridge

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Despite increased load-to-truck ratios, national average spot truckload rates were unchanged as overall market activity slowed during the week ending June 25, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards.

The total number of posted loads fell 6.2%, while available truck capacity dropped 9.3% and fuel prices (which make up a portion of spot rates) were unchanged from the week before.

The van load-to-truck ratio rose 3% to 2.8 loads per truck, reflecting a typical buildup in demand to close the second quarter. The national average spot van rate was at $1.61 per mile for the third straight week.

California markets continue to pick up, with the average outbound rate from Los Angeles up 7 cents to $2.21 per mile. Demand continues to heat up for vans in the Southeast, as loads from Charlotte, N.C., averaged $2.09 per mile, up 5 cents, while Atlanta rose 4 cents to $1.94 per mile.

The national average reefer spot market rate was at $1.95 per mile. However, a 9% increase in the load-to-truck ratio to 5.8 available reefer loads per truck signaled that rates may rise soon due to end-of-quarter and pre-holiday demand, according to DAT.

At $1.95 per mile, the national average flatbed rate was unchanged compared to the previous week. Several flatbed markets and lanes gave back last week’s gains, including Pittsburgh to Houston at $1.15 per mile, down 46 cents; and Baltimore to Springfield, Illinois at $3.30 per mile, down 11 cents. Flatbed load posts fell 7% and capacity decreased 4% last week, as the load-to-truck ratio fell 3% to 17.6 loads per truck.

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