Freight rates have posted their first across the board increases for the first time in several weeks on one of the nation’s largest spot markets.

Freight matching service provider DAT reports between Nov 24 and 30, the average van rate gained 1.1% from the previous seven-days for $1.88 per mile, ending the month 4 cents higher than October. It says a typical end-of-month surge in activity, which came early with the short holiday week, helped push rates up. The entire month of November was unexpectedly strong for manufacturing as well as seasonal retail freight.

Flatbeds picked up nearly as much, increasing 1%, for an average of $2.08 per mile, due to a 35% drop-off in capacity during the holiday week, which pushed the load-to-truck ratio up 14%. For the month of November however, flatbed rates continued a seasonal decline, losing 5 cents.

Reefers saw the biggest rate hike, 1.5% for an average of $2.07 per mile. A strong close to the month helped push November's rates up 5 cents from October.

This activity also came as the load-to-truck ratio for vans increased by 12%. The number of dry van-loads available last week decreased 14.3% but capacity decreased 23.1%. The load-to-truck ratio climbed to 3.0, up 11.5% from 2.7 the prior week. In November, the load-to-truck ratio increased to 2.5, up 7.7% from October when the ratio stood at 2.3.

The flatbed load-to-truck ratio picked up 14%, though the demand for flatbed loads decreased 25.9% last week and capacity fell 35% as a result of the Thanksgiving holiday. The load-to-truck ratio now stands at 12.2, up 14% from 10.7 the prior week. The load-to-truck ratio finished November at 11.3, which was down 14.1% from October. 

In contrast, the reefer load-to-truck ratio fell 7.7% as load availability for reefers dropped 22.3% last week, while truck capacity fell 15.9%. As a result, the load-to-truck ratio fell to 8.9, down from 9.7 the prior week. In November, the load-to-truck ratio increased 13.3% to 8.8, up from 7.8 in October. 

Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted nationally on DAT Load Boards.