During the week of Dec. 26, spot truckload freight volume increased nearly 26% and the number of available trucks fell 26% compared to the previous week, according to DAT Freight & Analytics,
Truckload spot van freight hit $3.16 per mile as a weekly average, up 12 cents compared to the previous week and an all-time high. The average spot reefer rate jumped 10 cents to $3.66 per mile, also a record high seven-day average, while the average flatbed rate was unchanged at $3.13 per mile.
The national average van load-to-truck ratio increased from 6.0 to 10.4 last week, meaning there were 10.4 available van loads for every van posted to the DAT network. The reefer ratio was 34.3, up from 14.9 the previous week, and the flatbed ratio increased to 72.4 from 53.8. These ratios are considerably higher than the same period in 2020, when the van ratio was 7.0, the reefer ratio was 15.8, and the flatbed ratio was 52.1.
It’s not unusual for demand for truckload capacity to swing significantly during the final week of December, when shippers are feeling urgency to move freight before the end of the year, more carriers take time off for the holidays, and traffic and weather can be unpredictable, DAT officials said in a press release.