DAT Trendlines
spot market for 0512 2018

DAT: Spring produce pushes reefers spot rates higher

May 15, 2018
Flatbed and van spot rates tick down as truck posts increase by 3% over the first full week of May 2018, according to DAT network of load boards.

The number of spot market loads on the DAT network of load boards gained 1.2% and truck posts were up 3.6% during the week ending May 12. This had a moderating effect on rates, according to DAT. The spring shipping season has officially arrived, boosted by the produce-distribution markets.

Here's how the spot rates changed over the past week:

  • Van: $2.15/mile, down 3 cents week over week
  • Flatbed: $2.71/mile, down a penny after a 7-cent increase the previous week
  • Reefer: $2.49/mile, up 1 cent

Van overview: Van load posts increased 7% while truck posts increased 3%. That caused the van load-to-truck ratio to increase 3% to 6.4 loads per truck. Many key average outbound rates were weaker:

  • Columbus, Ohio: $2.48/mile, down 8 cents. Columbus to Buffalo, an important regional van lane, fell 25 cents to an average of $3.70/mile
  • Houston: $2.12/mile, down 2 cents
  • Memphis: $2.67/mile, down 1 cents
  • Los Angeles: $2.45/mile, up 3 cents

Flatbed overview: Nationally, flatbed load posts declined 1% while truck posts increased 8%. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to cool, falling 8% to 102 loads per truck.

Reefer overview: Reefer load posts fell 3% while truck posts increased 6%. That caused the national load-to-truck ratio for reefers to decline 8%, from 9.2 to 8.5 loads per truck. The average outbound rate from Miami jumped 25 cents to $3.29/mile, and several lanes showed gains:

  • Miami to Baltimore: $3.49/mile, up 24 cents
  • Los Angeles to Portland: $3.42/mile, up 15 cents
  • Dallas to Houston: $3.03/mile, up 6 cents
  • Elizabeth, N.J., to Boston: $4.35/mile, up 11 cents
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Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

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