Rates on the spot truckload freight market either moved higher or remained the same for the week ending June 2. The number of loads jumped 10% while shippers rushed to move freight before the end of the quarter and the start of the July 4 weekend, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards.
The national average van and reefer rate each gained 1 cent from the week before, hitting $1.62 per mile and $1.97 per mile, respectively, while the average flatbed rate was at $1.95 per mile for the third consecutive week. (All rates include fuel surcharges.)
The van load-to-truck ratio ended the week up 19% at 3.4 loads per truck. As an average, the van ratio was higher in June than it was in June 2015, the first year-over-year increase in 2016, according to DAT.
Several key van markets showed strength including; Charlotte, North Carolina., $2.08 per mile, unchanged from last week; Los Angeles, $2.13 per mile, up 5 cents; Chicago, $1.92 per mile, up 7 cents; Houston, $1.60 per mile, up 3 cents; and Allentown, Pennsylvania, $2.02 per mile, up 5 cents.
With an average load-to-truck ratio of 6.4 last week, the national reefer rate rose again and finished the month of June 8 cents higher than it was in May. That marks the third straight month of national-average reefer rate increases.
In the Northeast, New Jersey produce is moving, adding to freight volumes and boosting rates on key lanes, including Elizabeth to Lakeland, Florida, up 23 cents to $1.64 per mile and Philadelphia to Miami, adding 24 cents to $1.83 per mile.
Also, California and the Southeast are the hottest areas for reefer loads, and rates rose in both regions last week, according to DAT.
The number of flatbed load posts dipped another 7% and capacity increased 5% last week. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio fell 11% to 15.7 loads per truck and rates are trending down in Northeastern markets, including an average drop of 5 cents on major outbound lanes originating in Baltimore. Flatbeds also lost traction in smaller regional freight markets such as Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
Meantime, an initial look at monthly average rates in June shows they did better than the previous month, but were down from a year earlier. Vans increased 5.2% from May while flatbeds posted a smaller 1.6% gain with reefers showing a 4.2% improvement. When last month is compared to June 2015, vans are down 13% while reefers and flatbeds fell 11%.