Spot truckload rates continue to slide

May 17, 2022

Special to Land Line


Reversing a 13% increase the previous week, the total number of load posts on the MembersEdge load board fell 15% during the week of May 7-13. Dry van load posts declined 8.8% week over week, reefer load posts fell 14.1%, and flatbed load posts dropped 17.5% after an 18% increase the previous week.

Load-to-truck ratios declined

While load availability diminished last week compared to the week before, capacity increased. Total truck posts rose 1.1% last week, with the number of van equipment load posts up 6.3% and reefer posts up 7.2% compared to the previous week. Flatbed equipment posts increased 13.5%; flatbed carriers are posting their equipment at around double the volume year over year.

Load-to-truck ratios declined. The van ratio was 3.4 as a national average, down from 4.0; the reefer ratio was 5.4, down from 6.7; and the flatbed ratio tumbled to 57.5, down from 72.8.

With International Roadcheck happening this week, expect capacity to tighten as some carriers take time off to reduce inspection-related delays.

Van rate lowest since August 2020

Spot truckload rates continued to slide last week.

  • Dry van: $2 a mile last week excluding fuel, down 5 cents (and trending lower as more data comes into RateView). The van line-haul rate has not been this low since the week of Aug. 9, 2020.
  • Reefer: $2.27 a mile, down 7 cents week over week.
  • Flatbed: $2.60 a mile, down 4 cents.

Including a fuel surcharge portion, the van rate averaged $2.69 a mile last week, reefers, $2.96 a mile, and flatbeds $3.30 a mile. The truckload rates reported here are national average broker-to-carrier rates based on loads moved from May 7-13 and not the “asking price” on the load board. Spot rates are negotiated on a per-transaction basis between the owner-operator and the broker.

Market to watch

Nearly 90% of the strawberries grown in the U.S. originate in California along the central coast from Santa Cruz to Santa Maria and Ventura. The Salinas-Watsonville region produces around 45% of state volume, followed by Santa Maria (37%) and Oxnard (17%).

California’s strawberry growers are seeing substantially lower reefer spot rates this season along with reduced load-post volumes. Spot truckload rates for reefer loads from the Fresno, Calif., market to Chicago averaged less than $2 a mile excluding fuel for the first time in 12 months. Fresno to Hunts Point, N.Y. – a key food distribution market for New York City – followed a similar trend, dropping 12 cents to $2.04 a mile, excluding fuel.

Listen in

Learn more when DAT industry analyst Dean Croke joins Land Line Now at 7 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday. DAT also posts detailed reports at each Wednesday or sooner when conditions change.

DAT MembersEdge is a service provided exclusively to OOIDA members at a discounted price. LL

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