Spot truckload rates for dry van and refrigerated freight hit another high in October, according to DAT Freight & Analytics, while average flatbed rates also increased compared to September, they did not surpass 2018’s highs.
Overall, the October DAT Truckload Volume Index increased 3.8% month over month and 8.7% year over year.
“We expect to see rates continue to rise through Q4 of 2020,” said Ken Adamo, chief of analytics at DAT. “After a historic increase of 95 cents per mile since May 1, when they were at their low point during the pandemic, dry van rates plateaued for most of October with the exception of a slight increase following end-of-month shipping volume.”
The October average van load-to-truck ratio dropped for the first time in six months to 4.3 from a two-year high of 5.5 in September. In other words, there were 4.3 available loads for every available truck on the DAT load board network. The van load-to-truck ratio was 21.8% lower compared to September, but it was more than double the ratio of October 2019.
The spot van rate averaged $2.40 per mile nationally in October, up 3 cents compared to September, and 60 cents higher year over year. At $2.21 per mile, the average spot line-haul rate for vans exceeded the national monthly average contract rate for the third month in a row.
Spot reefer volumes rose 5.1% month over month. The national average reefer load-to-truck ratio was 8.7 in October, more than five times higher than April’s record low of 1.7 loads per truck. The national average spot reefer rate was $2.59 per mile, up 2 cents compared to September and 48 cents higher year over year.
The national flatbed load-to-truck ratio averaged 37.1 in October, lower than its two-year high in September of 40.3. October flatbed volumes were up 1.6% compared to September but 11% lower than October 2019. The national average spot flatbed rate was $2.45 per mile, 4 cents more than the September average and 28 cents higher year over year.