The national average spot truckload van rate on the DAT Solutions network of load boards moved only a little higher for the week ending June 23 but it was enough to push it to a new all-time high.
The increase of just 1 cent over the previous seven days to $2.31 per mile also came despite a 7% increase in available van capacity and 5% decline in the number of available van loads.
The national average reefer rate remained at a record high of $2.70 per mile and the flatbed rate dipped 1 cent to $2.81 per mile.
The van load-to-truck ratio fell 11% to 9.2 loads per truck. That’s 64% above last year’s June average of 5.6, which was the highest-ever ratio at the time.
Although freight volumes stayed about the same last week, rates moved higher on 64 of the top 100 van lanes. According to DAT, this could be because there are fewer alternatives for shippers, contract rates have increased about 20% since last June, and rail intermodal has experienced crowded terminals and lack of drayage capacity.
Los Angeles was the top market for spot van freight volume last week while it had the highest outbound spot freight rate at $3.09 per mile. Some of the other hottest lanes include:
- Atlanta to Chicago, up 21 cents to $3.72 per mile. The northbound lane has remained higher than the southbound Chicago to Atlanta lane for several weeks, which is very unusual.
- Los Angeles to Chicago rose 25 cents to $2.03 per mile. This rail-competitive lane usually moves at much lower rates, signaling that the rails are becoming saturated.
Meantime, the national load-to-truck ratio for flatbeds remained high, but it fell to its lowest point since late February, down to 77.9 loads per truck. That was due to a 10% decline in load posts and a 3% increase in truck posts. Flatbed volumes in June are 32% higher than they were a year ago in the top 78 flatbed lanes, while spot rates in those lanes are 26% higher than last year at this time.
Reefer load posts and truck posts each rose 3%, leading to a slight uptick in the load-to truck ratio, hitting 12.7 reefer loads per truck. Reefer volumes from Georgia and the Carolinas continue to strengthen as harvests move north of Florida. Out West, the transition from Texas to California is underway with Los Angeles still strong and the Fresno market coming into peak season.