According to DAT Solutions, the average spot van rates set a record high in September, up 6 cents from the previous record set in June 2018.
The increase was triggered by the notion that shippers are currently relying more on the spot market. Interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have pushed freight away from the contract market, and capacity tightened in the last week of September in an effort to move more freight ahead of the close of the third quarter.
In year-over-year comparisons, the September spot van rate was up 28.9%, the flatbed rate increased 9.8%, and the reefer rate gained 19.1%. DAT is also predicting the increase to move into October, with van rates to increase from $2.38 to $2.46, flatbed from $2.41 to $2.43, and reefer from $2.57 to $2.59.
According to DAT’s most recent findings:
- The average spot rate for van increased on 63 of DAT’s top 100 van lanes by volume compared to the previous week, while 28 lanes were neutral and nine saw a decline. The number of available loads on the top 100 lanes increased 2.4% and, at $2.46 per mile, the national average spot van rate was 8 cents higher than the September average. The national average van load-to-truck ratio was 5.5, slightly above the 5.4 average for the month.
- The average spot rate for flatbed increased on 41 of DAT’s top 78 flatbed lanes by volume compared to the previous week, 26 lanes were neutral, and 11 lanes decreased. The number of available loads on the top 78 lanes increased 2.2%.
- The reefer rate increase has lasted two months longer than usual for 2020 at $2.57 a mile. It was 20% higher compared to September 2019 and has been above average since August. But, the average spot rate was lower on 28 of DAT’s top 72 reefer lanes by volume compared to the previous week, while 23 lanes were up and 20 were unchanged.