January's load availability lagged December's volume by only 2.8 percent, the smallest month-over-month dip in the past decade, when the average was a 15 percent decline from December to January.
In keeping with seasonal trends, the national average line-haul spot market rates cooled for refrigerated trucks for the second consecutive month, with a $0.05 (3.4 percent) decline to $1.42 per mile in January, compared to December. Dry van rates dipped by $0.03 (1.6 percent) in January, while flatbed rates dropped by $0.01 per mile.
When these spot market rates are compared to January 2010, however, they show increases for all equipment types. Year-over-year, van rates increased by 14 percent, flatbeds commanded an 11 percent increase and reefer rates rose by 6 percent. Spot market rates are the rates that brokers and 3PLs pay to the carrier.
Looking ahead to March, TransCore believes the best combinations of high freight volumes and favorable inbound-to-outbound load ratios will come from Illinois, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.