The amount of spot market freight has rebounded from last week, while rates in two out of three categories has also recovered.
The freight-matching service provider DAT Solutions reports the number of loads available increased 1.5% Sept. 28 through Oct. 4 compared to the previous seven days, as spot market capacity fell by 4.3%.
This helped push the average rate for flatbeds up 1.3% to $2.42 per mile, despite declining load volume overall. It was strong in markets such as Houston and Memphis, where rates are elevated for the season, according to DAT.
Van rates gained 0.5%, registering $2.03 per mile. This marks another week above the $2 per mile level, where it has been for most of the year.
Reefer rates, in contrast, fell 2.1% to an average of $2.28 per mile, the lowest level of the past four weeks. However, it finished September 5 cents higher than the month before and 23 cents higher than during the same time last year.
This happened as load-to-truck ratios were mixed, with vans increasing 11% to 3.3 loads for every truck, due to a 5% gain in van freight availability and a 5% drop in truckload capacity. Reefers posted an even bigger load-to truck ratio increase, 13%, hitting 9.9 loads for every truck as reefer freight increased 6.1% from the week before and capacity slipped 5.9%.
The load-to-truck ratio for flatbed freight fell 5.3% to 27.8 to 1, which DAT said my indicate the start of the “off season” in this high demand segment. This happened as load availability for flatbeds fell 3.5% from last week and capacity increased nearly 2%.
The authors of the 2018 State of Logistics Report titled “Steep Grade Ahead,” see the logistics industry “rapidly changing to meet growing demand and costs.”