The number of available loads on the spot truckload market fell 3.9% for the week ending August 6 compared to the week before while rates held steady despite a reduction in the average fuel surcharge, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards.

The national average spot reefer rate remained at $1.93 per mile as the number of reefer load posts increased 4% while truck posts were unchanged. All reported rates include fuel surcharges. That resulted in a 4% increase in the load-to-truck ratio to 5.3 loads per truck.

Northern reefer-freight markets are showing strength as rates jumped 14 cents to $1.80 per mile out of Elizabeth, New Jersey last week as fruit and vegetable harvests in rural parts of the state as well as Pennsylvania contributed to an increase in demand.

Elsewhere, regional markets with highest average reefer rates held steady compared to the previous week:

  • Southeast: Atlanta, $2.29per mile, up 3 cents
  • West: Los Angeles, $2.48 per mile, up 2 cents
  • Midwest: Green Bay, $2.47 per mile, up 2 cents
  • South Central: McAllen, Texas, $1.74 per mile, down 3 cents
  • Northeast: Philadelphia, $2.29 per mile, up 2 cents

Meantime, van-load posts decreased 2% last week, while truck posts held steady. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to dip 2% to 2.7 loads per truck.

At $1.64, the national average spot van rate was unchanged compared to the previous week, but is down 2 cents from three weeks ago. Van rates recovered 5 cents out of Chicago last week to $1.92 per mile, and Columbus, Ohio, rates gained 2 cents to $1.81 per mile. Memphis added 3 cents to $1.87 per mile, a positive sign for haulers of retail freight, according to DAT.

The number of flatbed load posts declined 10% last week while truck posts increased 1%. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to fall 11% to 12.8 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate increased 1 cent to $1.93 per mile despite a 1 cent decline in the average fuel surcharge. Compared to three week earlier, the average rate has increased 4 cents.

All this activity happened against a backdrop in which the national average diesel price dipped another 3 cents to $2.32 per gallon compared to the previous week, leading to a 1-cent fuel surcharge loss.