Spot market rates for vans and reefers hit the highest levels since January of this year.
 - Source: DAT Solutions

Spot market rates for vans and reefers hit the highest levels since January of this year.

Source: DAT Solutions

Spot market rates for dry van and refrigerated shipments in June were the highest since January as capacity tightened due to the Roadcheck inspection blitz and increased demand, according to DAT Solutions.

“The annual Roadcheck inspection blitz limited truck availability in the first week of the month,” said Peggy Dorf, market analyst with DAT Solutions. “The urgency to move shipments before the close of Q2 sustained those price increases through the end of the month.”

The national average for van freight rates in June was $1.89 per mile, including fuel surcharges, representing a 10-cent increase over May’s average. Year over year, the national rate was 43 cents lower but the June 2018 average was also the highest van rate ever recorded.

The national reefer rate average rose to $2.25 per mile with a similar 10-cent increase over May. The June reefer rate was 46 cents short of the record set in June of last year. Reefer volume fell month-over-month for the third year in a row as agricultural producers are grappling with weather-related disruptions.

Flatbed shipments averaged $2.30 per mile in June, 3 cents above May’s average and 53 cents below last June’s record rates. Volume dipped 2.4% compared to May, a seasonal trend that mirrored the past two years.  Volume was down 2.4% compared to May, a seasonal trend that mirrored the past two years. The volume of flatbed loads was up 9% compared to June 2018.

Spot market volumes were above last year’s levels with van freight volume increasing by 4.4% year over year. Compared to the first six months of 2018, van volume was 7% higher in the first half of this year.

There was a 7.7% decline in volume from May to June, which has become a common trend in recent years, according to DAT.

“June is often considered a peak month for the spot market, but that’s truer for rates than volumes,” said Dorf. “We expect spot market volumes to gain strength in the second half of this year, although rates probably will not rebound to 2018 levels.”

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