Spot Van Rate Hits High Point

Source: DAT Solutions

The national average spot van rate hit its highest level since last January and load-to-truck ratios for all three equipment types surged during the week ending Dec. 8, according to DAT Solutions.

Monthly National Average Spot Rates (through Dec. 8)

  • Van: $1.94 per mile, 12 cents higher than the November average
  • Refrigerated: $2.26 per mile, 8 cents higher than November
  • Flatbed: $2.14 per mile, 3 cents higher than November

Demand for truckload van and refrigerated capacity is expected to remain strong through the end of 2019 and into early January due to holiday-related retail goods and groceries moving through the supply chain.

Pricing moved higher on 77 of DAT’s top 100 van lanes by volume, while eight lanes declined and 15 were neutral. The national average van load-to-truck ratio hit 4.0 last week, which translates to four loads available for every truck posted to DAT’s load board network –almost double the average since the start of November.

Load volumes were up nearly 30% out of the Laredo, Texas, freight market and about 20% in the Phoenix market compared to the previous week. Some of the largest van lane-rate increases last week were out West:

  • Seattle to Los Angeles: $1.59 per mile, up 26 cents. The return trip added 12 cents to $2.47 a mile.
  • Salt Lake City to Stockton, Calif.: $1.57 a mile, up 22 cents. The return trip also added 22 cents to $2.60 per mile.
  • Denver to Los Angeles: $1.21 per mile, up 20 cents. The return trip dipped just 3 cents to $2.70 a mile.

The national average spot reefer rate has been on the increase since October. Rates were higher on 42 of the top 72 reefer lanes by volume last week while only seven lanes dropped.

Lanes from Tucson, Ariz., Philadelphia, and Elizabeth, N.J. also saw increases in their average rates:

  • Tucson to Los Angeles: $2.12 per mile, up 26 cents. The return trip slipped 15 cents to $2.97.
  • Philadelphia to Chicago: $1.72 a mile, up 21 cents. The return trip was $3.04 per mile, down 3 cents compared to the previous week.
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