Spot load postings on MembersEdge jumped 5% last week

October 13, 2022

Special to Land Line

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There were 2.37 million loads on the DAT MembersEdge load board last week, Oct. 2-8. That number is up 5% compared to the previous week and the most since the second week of August.

Any increase in loads posted during the first week of October is unusual. Posts usually decline after the last week of September, which coincides with the end of a quarter when shippers are motivated to move freight off their docks.

Load-posting activity was solid, but high numbers of truck posts balanced the gains.

Reefer posts increased 10%

Reefer load posts jumped 10% to more than 556,000 loads as fresh and frozen produce moves to grocery distribution centers and stores before the holiday season. The number of reefer equipment posts was flat last week, and the national average reefer load-to-truck ratio was 6.6 loads per truck, up from 6.0 the previous week. The reefer ratio has been between 7.7 and 6.0 since July.

Dry van load posts decreased by 2.2% and were above 1 million for the fourth week in a row. The number of dry vans on the network increased by 5%, and capacity is close to 2019 levels when the market was oversupplied relative to demand.

Flatbed posts increased 13% to 771,000, the most since the second week of August, and up 19% month over month. Flatbed equipment posts were virtually unchanged and were at the highest level for the first week of October. The flatbed ratio was 14.3 loads per truck, up from 13.7.

Rates held firm

The national average van rate was $2.48 a mile last week, up 1 cent compared to the previous week. Reefers averaged $2.79 a mile, up 2 cents, and flatbeds averaged $2.80 a mile, unchanged.

These are national broker-to-carrier rates based on contributed transaction data from Oct. 2-8. Spot rates are “all-in”; there is no separate fuel surcharge.

The effects of Hurricane Ian lingered

Hurricane Ian is affecting freight movements nearly two weeks after making landfall.

On MembersEdge, there was a 113% increase in flatbed load postss moving inbound to Florida last week. Flatbed activity would indicate demand for trucks to move materials and machinery.

In the Lakeland market, which includes Tampa and Orlando, there was a 42% increase in the number of dry van loads moved from Atlanta and the van rate on that lane averaged $3.66 a mile over the last seven days. That’s 19 cents higher than the monthly average rate for September.

The big issue for owner-operators is that there’s little freight coming out of Florida, and what does move pays far less. For example, Atlanta to Lakeland van freight paid $3.66 a mile last week; Lakeland to Atlanta paid $1.34.

As always, the rate you negotiate is up to you. But if you’re booking a load into central or southern Florida, you probably want your inbound leg to compensate for the low rate or deadhead miles you might face on the outbound.

Listen to market analysis on Land Line Now

Listen to Land Line Now every Wednesday for the latest spot-market update. Here is the latest segment. Stephen Petit of DAT discusses the potential rail strike, and what that could mean for truckers on the spot market.

DAT posts market updates every Wednesday or sooner if conditions change materially. Visit DAT.com/MarketUpdate for more information.

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