Spot truckload freight volumes lagged during the first week of January compared to previous weeks in Dec., but rates continued to show momentum, said DAT Solutions, which operates in the industry’s largest network of load boards for truckload freight.
At $1.97 per mile, the national average spot van rate was 3 cents a mile higher during the week ending Jan. 5 than any monthly average rate since 2018.
Freight volumes rose on 50 of the top 100 van lanes compared to the previous week. Van rates gained traction on high-volume lanes originating in six major freight hubs: Dallas, Chicago, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Stockton, California.
- Dallas to Houston was up 18 cents to $2.47 per mile.
- Chicago to Allentown, Pennsylvania, added 12 cents to $2.95.
- Atlanta to Charlotte gained 7 cents to $2.67 per mile.
- Atlanta to Miami rose 14 cents to $2.66.
- Stockton to Ontario, California, added 13 cents to $1.76 per mile, and Stockton to Los Angeles got a 7-cent boost to $1.85.
Some lanes with big increases leading up to the Christmas holiday reverted to slow-season form, including lanes with destinations in Memphis, Columbus, and Chicago that are associated with retail freight. Columbus to Memphis rates dropped like a rock, from $2.07 to $1.79, a 28-cent loss.
The national average spot reefer rate hit $2.35 per mile, 5 cents better than the December average. Reefer load counts declined on half of DAT’s top 72 reefer lanes by volume but only three of the top lanes had declining rates. Produce import markets in Florida and Texas, as well as Elizabeth, NJ, propelled rates on south-to-north reefer lanes:
- Lakeland, FL, to Baltimore soared from $1.94 to $2.81 per mile, up 87 cents.
- Miami to Boston increased 48 cents to $2.38.
- Tucson, AZ, to Los Angeles added 47 cents to $2.65.
- McAllen, TX, to Elizabeth added 42 cents to $2.93.