Graphic: DAT Solutions

Graphic: DAT Solutions

Spot market freight rates have posted slight gains, but one sector continues to see rates slide, according to the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.

Van gained 0.5% for an average of $2.03 per mile Nov. 16 through Nov. 22 compared to the previous seven days, while reefers gained even more, adding 1.3% for $2.34 per mile, its highest level out of the last four weeks. The increase in the average van rate was due to greater demand for freight movements and bad weather, according to DAT, while severe storms during the period may also have contributed to the increase in reefer rates as fleet productivity could have been hurt at key freight hubs.

In contrast, flatbed rates fell 0.9% for an average of $2.30 per mile, its lowest level out of the last four weeks as the sector begins to enter the winter doldrums.

This happened as the number of spot market loads available increased 13%, spot market truck capacity fell 0.5% and translating into gains in load-to-truck ratios.

The van load-to-truck ratio increased 21% to 3.6 loads per truck, while it posted 28% improvement for reefers, jumping from 9.8 to 12.6 loads per truck. Flatbeds recorded a more modest 5.9% gain for a ratio of 16 loads per truck.

The period was heavily affected by winter storms that dumped snow on a number of key freight markets, according to DAT Analyst Mark Montague in the company’s Freight Talk Blog.