DAT SOLUTIONS: With 27 percent increase in loads, spot rates soar

June 15, 2018

Special to Land Line


Spot truckload rates on DAT MembersEdge were up sharply during the week ending June 9 as the number of loads increased 27 percent while truck posts fell 0.4 percent.

With demand for trucks jumping during a week that included the Roadcheck blitz, rates rose for all three equipment types.

  • Van: $2.29 per mile, up 10 cents
  • Flatbed: $2.81 per mile, up 6 cents
  • Reefer: $2.69 per mile, up 19 cents

While spot truckload rates typically increase in June, the van rate gained 16 cents last week and the reefer rate was up 15 cents compared to May averages. National average van and reefer load-to-truck ratios were the highest they have been since rates spiked in January, following the ELD mandate.

Van overview
A 20 percent change in posted loads or trucks is typical when you are comparing a full workweek to a holiday-shortened one. But van load posts increased 35 percent last week, and truck posts rose just 2 percent. This pushed the load-to-truck ratio up 32 percent to 11.3 loads per truck.

There were lots of hot van markets last week but a few stand out.

  • Houston: $2.38 per mile, up 17 cents. Outbound volume increased 7.6 percent compared to the previous week and is 11.2 percent higher over the last four weeks.
  • Columbus, Ohio: $2.76 per mile, up 17 cents. Outbound volume increased 6.4 percent and is up 11.1 percent over the last four weeks.
  • Los Angeles: $2.89 per mile, up 10 cents. Outbound volume increased 3.7 percent and is up 18.2 percent over the last four weeks.

Two lanes worth watching:

  • Memphis to Indianapolis, up 25 cents to $3.08 per mile; and
  • Columbus to Chicago, up 22 cents to $2.62 per mile.

Flatbed overview
The flatbed load-to-truck ratio was 109, breaking 100 after a three-week stretch in double digits. Flatbed load posts increased 18 percent and truck posts were up 7 percent, leading to a 10 percent increase in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio.

Reefer overview
Reefer load posts increased 42 percent during the first full week after Memorial Day, but truck posts fell 9 percent. As a result, the national reefer load-to-truck ratio jumped 57 percent to 14.7 loads per truck.

Reefer activity in Dallas was particularly strong. The average outbound rate soared 44 cents to $3.03 per mile and several outbound lanes reflected extraordinary increases:

  • Dallas to Atlanta: $2.95 per mile, up 55 cents
  • Dallas to Denver: $3.64 per mile, up 55 cents

California reefer pricing continues to improve, with rates up 25 percent during the past month out of Sacramento. In Florida, the origin of loads has shifted to the middle and upper parts of the state. As a result, Miami averaged $2.36 per mile, down 11 cents, and the Miami to Atlanta lane is falling into off-season pricing: the average rate fell 26 cents last week to $1.72 per mile.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit the MyMembersEdge.com load board or tune in to Land Line Now. You can get all of the latest rate information at dat.com per industry-trends per trendlines, comment on the DAT Freight Talk blog, or join us on Facebook. On Twitter you can tweet your questions to us @LoadBoards and have your questions answered by DAT industry analyst Mark Montague.