The spot freight market posted its usual seasonal lull the week of Christmas, but one sector saw a slight overall rate improvement, according to the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.
The number of overall loads to haul fell 35% from Dec. 21 through Dec. 27 compared to the previous seven days, while the number of trucks available fell by nearly the same margin, 38%.
The average reefer rate posted its first gain in three weeks, 0.9%, climbing to $2.36 per mile, despite a 1-cent decline in the average fuel surcharge. This gain was due to a 5.5% increase in the reefer load-to-truck ratio, which hit 10.2 loads per truck.
The average rate for both dry vans and flatbeds were unchanged during the period at $2.08 and $2.30 per mile, respectively, following two straight weekly drops. The van load-to-truck ratio fell 2.4% to 3.3 loads per truck. The flatbed ratio spiked 33% to 18.5 loads per truck, in what DAT said was likely a “temporary surge.”
Despite there being little to no improvement in overall rates, the one added benefit of the week was a 4% decline in fuel costs, with it hitting its lowest level of the year.