Demand for Truckload Raises Rates

Source: DAT

According to DAT Solutions, spot truckload rates for van, refrigerated, and flatbed have all seen increases since last month, with supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 pushing more freight to the spot market at a time when demand for truckload capacity usually declines.

Shippers and freight brokers posted 8.6% more loads during the week ending August 2, while the number of truck posts fell 8%.

Load-to-truck ratios increased for all three equipment types week over week, with the van ratio at 5.2 after averaging 4.4 in July. The average reefer ratio reached its highest point in two years last week at 9.0, while the flatbed ratio was 30.6, an increase over 2019.

July’s national average spot rates were:

  • $2.04 per mile for van, up 24 cents compared to June
  • $2.20 per mile for flatbed, up 13 cents
  • $2.30 per mile for reefers, up 15 cents

July’s average spot van rate increased by 10.6% year over year, with van and reefer rates entering August much higher than their July averages at $2.20 a mile for vans and $2.42 for reefers.

Overall, average spot van rates increased on 55 of DAT’s top 100 lanes by volume compared to the previous week, but volumes on those 100 lanes were only 2% higher week over week. Also, load volumes out of the top 10 fulfillment warehouse markets rose 25% last month due to a  surge of imports for home improvement and other stay-at-home goods.

Tropical storm Isaias had an effect on Florida, which saw more loads moved out than normal last week. Van volume out of Lakeland, Florida, was up 20% compared to the previous week. The pandemic is also affecting volumes, with demand for specific types of produce like citrus fruits and leafy greens leading to tighter capacity in Southern California. Produce volumes for the entire state were up 53% in July compared to June.

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