While the number of spot market loads on the DAT network of load boards fell last week along with truck posts, rates changed little, according to newly released numbers.
The number of load posts declined 1.2% while truck posts fell 3.2% during the week ending May 19 compared to the previous seven days.
Freight activity varied from region to region as produce harvests across the Sun Belt, from California to the Carolinas, added to capacity pressures. At the same time, freight volumes cooled in the Northern states, more than offsetting any gains in the South.
The two opposing trends kept national average rates unchanged for dry van and refrigerated truckload freight last week:
- Van: $2.15 per mile, unchanged
- Flatbed: $2.72 per mile, up 1 cent
- Refrigerated: $2.49 per mile, unchanged
Van load posts rose 1% while truck posts dropped 4%. The van load-to-truck ratio rose 5% to 6.7 to 1.
Demand for dry van freight transportation was most intense across the southern band of states, from California across and through the entire Southeast region. Last week Los Angeles overtook Dallas as the top market for freight volume. Dallas was number two, followed by Atlanta.
On the top 100 van lanes, the biggest rate jump was from Atlanta to Philadelphia, up 28 cents to $3.28 per mile. Other rising lanes included:
- Atlanta to Chicago, up 23 cents to $2.26 per mile
- Charlotte to Chicago, up 22 to $2.18 per mile
- Los Angeles to Seattle, up 15 cents to $2.90 per mile
The national flatbed load-to-truck ratio has been historically high this year and last week was the first time the ratio has dipped below 100 since late March. Flatbed load posts were down 4%, but truck posts increased 2%, which led to a ratio of 96.9 to 1
Refrigerated load posts rose 4% while truck posts declined 4%. As a result, the national load-to-truck ratio for reefers increased 9%, from 8.5 to 1 to 9.2 to 1.
The refrigerated lane from Atlanta to Philadelphia posted the largest spot rate increases, with the average jumping 55 cents to $3.16 er mile. Other lanes that showed strong increases included:
- McAllen, Texas, to Atlanta climbed 38 cents to $2.95 per mile
- Ontario, California, to Seattle increased 35 cents to $3.41 per mile
- Nogales, Arizona, to Dallas jumped up 31 cents to $2.91 per mile
While rates and load-to-truck ratios rose for reefer vans across the South, all major lanes out of Miami and Lakeland, Florida, were down, with rates and volumes dropping steeply:
- Miami to Atlanta plunged 74 cents to an average of $2.38 per mile
- Miami to Baltimore dove 59 cents to $2.91 per mile
- Lakeland to Atlanta dropped 57 cents to $2.40 per mile