Spot market freight availability has increased nicely in the most recent period while rates appear to have ended their recent decline, according to the freight matching service provider DAT.
The number of loads available to haul increased 6.1% Aug. 10 through Aug. 16 compared to the previous seven days, while truck capacity grew at a much slower rate of 0.6%.
The average rate for both van and flatbeds was unchanged during this time, at $2.00 and $2.45, respectively. DAT said the current rate for vans is still strong for mid-August and is 16 cents higher than the average rate this time a year ago, while demand to haul flatbed freight is still strong.
Reefer rates inched up by 0.9% to an average of $2.28 per mile, following a 9 cents drop the week before and remain 9 cents higher than they were this time last year.
All this happened as load-to-truck ratios increased in all three categories, with van’s increasing 4.6% to 3.2 loads per truck, while flatbeds picked up 5.8% to 36.6 to 1 and reefers gained 3.7% for a ratio of 9.6 to 1.
DAT Analyst Mark Montague noted on the company’s Freight Talk Blog that these current rates come as the peak season for dry van retail freight is right around the corner while flatbed rates has been solid since June and reefers rates are at their current level despite a severe drought in California.