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Spot Van, Flatbed Rates Inch Upward Amid Higher Freight Levels

June 1, 2016

By Evan Lockridge

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National average truckload van and flatbed rates each rose a penny on increased demand for freight hauling services during the week ending May 28 compared to the previous week, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards.

An 8.5% increase in the number of spot loads, as truck capacity was nearly unchanged, and a 2.6% increase in diesel prices also played key roles.

The number of available van loads jumped 16% while van capacity was unchanged last week. This pushed the van load-to-truck ratio up to 1.9 loads per truck while the average rate weighed in at $1.54 per mile. (All reported rates include fuel surcharges).

Rates rose sharply on many high-volume lanes, which helped boost the national average rate, according to DAT. The regional leaders, based on average outbound spot rates are:

  • West: Los Angeles, $2.01 per mile, up 8 cents
  • Midwest: Chicago, $1.74 per mile, up 4 cents
  • South Central: Dallas, $1.50 per mile, up 2 cents
  • Southeast: Charlotte, $1.82 per mile, up 3 cents
  • Northeast: Allentown, Penn., $1.80 per mile, up 2 cents

Flatbed load availability dipped 0.5% while capacity increased 8% last week. That led to an 8% decrease in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio at 14.2 loads per truck. The average flatbed rate registered $1.92 per mile following it being a penny less for three straight weeks.

The number of posted reefer loads increased 19% as available capacity declined 5%, producing a 25% increase in the reefer load-to-truck ratio to 4.1 loads per truck. The national average reefer rate was unchanged despite a seasonal increase in demand.

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