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Spot rates remain at elevated levels

Nov. 15, 2017
DAT Solutions data highlights strength of dry van and refrigerated rates for week ending Nov. 11.

While freight volumes slipped 1.6% on the spot market overall for the week ending Nov. 11, with the number of trucks available to haul cargo jumping 7.6%, data tracked by DAT Solutions still indicates truck freight rates continue to hover “at or near peak levels” especially for dry van and refrigerated or “reefer” loads.

Indeed, the firm said the dry van load-to-truck ratio is still twice as high as the same period a year ago.

According to DAT, slippage in national average spot truckload rates is minimal despite a decline in freight coupled to a hike in available capacity for the week ending Nov. 11:

  • Dry Van: down a penny at $2.06 per mile
  • Flatbed: up a penny to $2.30 per mile
  • Reefer: unchanged at $2.37 per mile

Dry van and reefer rates are hovering at or near peak levels due to higher fuel surcharges and strong demand for truckload capacity leading into the holiday shopping season, DAT said.

The general trend is for higher rates on eastbound lanes, with more demand for deliveries into the population centers in the Northeast, the firm added.

Spot van rates moderated or remain elevated in key markets across the country compared to the previous week:

  • Los Angeles, $2.58 per mile, up 9 cents
  • Chicago, $3.33 per mile, unchanged after jumping 14 cents the previous week
  • Memphis, $2.32 per mile, up 1 cent
  • Atlanta, $2.21 per mile, down 3 cents
  • Dallas, $1.76 per mile, down 3 cents
  • Houston, $1.70 per mile, unchanged

DAT highlighted one harbinger of increasing west-to-east freight flow: the average Los Angeles-Chicago spot rate climbed 11 cents to $1.81 per mile last week; to exceptionally high, the firm said, but still a strong rate, considering that’s a busy and competitive intermodal lane.

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American Trucker staff

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