Van, flatbed, and reefer spot rates increased in the first week of June to pre-lockdown numbers.  -  Source: DAT Solutions

Van, flatbed, and reefer spot rates increased in the first week of June to pre-lockdown numbers.

Source: DAT Solutions

According to DAT Freight Trends for the week of June 1-7, average van, refrigerated, and flatbed rates have recovered to where they were prior to widespread shutdowns of the U.S. due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The number of posted loads increased 18% during the week ending June 7.

Truck postings increased 13% compared to the previous week, a sign that capacity is shifting to the spot market to take advantage of more abundant freight, according to DAT.

National Average Spot Rates Through June 7:

  • Van: $1.75 per mile, 15 cents higher than the May average
  • Flatbed: $2.01 per mile, compared to $1.90 in May
  • Reefer: $2.10 per mile, versus $2.02 in May

The above are rolling averages for the month of June. On June 1, the van spot rate averaged $1.72 a mile, the flatbed rate was $1.98, and the reefer rate was $2.08.

Van Trends

Volumes were up 28% for vans on high-traffic lanes, with spot rates higher on 72 of DAT’s top 100 van lanes by volume compared to the previous week. The national average van load-to-truck ratio dropped 0.1 to 2.7. Van load volumes in Los Angeles increased 21% compared to the previous week and the average outbound rate climbed 9 cents to $2.41 a mile. Chicago van load volumes were also up, increasing 35%, and the average outbound rate was up 11 cents to $1.89 per mile.

Reefer Trends

The national average reefer load-to-truck ratio was increased from 3.7 to 3.9 last week, with rates increasing on 40 of the top 72 reefer lanes by volume on a 3% decline in the number of loads moved. Warmer weather is increasing demand for refrigerated trailers in the Great Lakes region, with Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Philadelphia rising 25 cents to an average of $2.86 per mile. Among the 16 reefer lanes where rates declined last week, the top seven originated in Miami or Lakeland, Florida.

Flatbed Trends

Spot rates for flatbed carriers are still below 2019’s levels, when the national average for June was $2.30 a mile. Load volumes increased 2.2% on DAT’s top 78 flatbed lanes. Load volume from Houston was up 2.6% compared to the previous week, with average outbound rates dropping a penny to $1.95 a mile.

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