Load posts increase 10.6% last week, spot rates edge higher

September 2, 2021

Special to Land Line


The number of load posts on DAT MembersEdge increased 10.6% during the week ending Aug. 28 while the number of available trucks fell 4.3%.

Spot rates increased compared to the previous week, with van freight hitting $2.79 per mile as a national average last week, up 2 cents. The average spot reefer rate also jumped 2 cents to $3.13 per mile while the average flatbed rate rose a penny to $2.97 per mile. All rates include a fuel surcharge.


Demand for trucks remained high

The national average van load-to-truck ratio increased from 6.4 to 7.5 last week, meaning there were 7.5 available van loads for every van posted to the DAT network. The reefer ratio was 16.3, up from 14.2 the previous week, and the flatbed ratio increased from 41.7 to 48.5. These ratios are considerably higher than the same period in 2020, when the van ratio was 5.7, the reefer ratio was 10.7 and the flatbed ratio was 36.7.

Busiest lanes cooled down

While spot truckload freight volume was up nationally, the number of loads moved fell on the country’s busiest lanes. On DAT’s top 100 van lanes by volume, the number of loads moved was down 1.9% week over week. Volume fell 2.8% last week on the 72 busiest reefer lanes, while the number of flatbed loads moved dipped 0.6% on the top 78 flatbed lanes.

Produce volumes continued to taper off

Weekly truckload volumes of domestic produce have declined by 25% since the July Fourth weekend, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Hurricane Ida affected freight in and out of New Orleans

Before Ida made landfall on Aug. 29, inbound van volume increased 5% during Aug. 22-28 while outbound volume jumped 19% compared to the previous week. Temperature-controlled shippers also were busy moving freight away from the storm, with outbound volume up 25% week over week.

New Orleans is not a large flatbed market, but during hurricane season inbound loads of building materials, machinery and lumber surged in anticipation of high demand during rebuilding. Two weeks ago, inbound flatbed volumes jumped by 47% week over week before dropping to more typical levels.

How carriers and brokers can help with relief efforts

Flooding and power outages can snarl supply chains after a major storm. The American Logistics Aid Network posts a list of needs during recovery efforts including truck capacity, heavy equipment and warehouse space. DAT offers tools to move FEMA loads and emergency freight, connecting carriers with brokers and shippers who have urgent shipping needs.

National average spot rates are derived from the DAT One load board network and DAT RateView, a database of $110 billion in actual market transactions.

Stay safe, and thank you for your hard work. LL

Check out the Aug. 5, 2021, DAT report for Land Line here.

OOIDA offers a MembersEdge discount on DAT services to its members.