DAT spot rates 4 weeks 101318

Hurricane Michael dampens spot demand for vans, reefers

Oct. 18, 2018
With weaker demand and the number of available trucks up 2% during the week ending Oct. 13, national average load-to-truck ratios plunged for all three equipment types.

The sudden rise of Hurricane Michael had a dampening effect on freight movement in the Southeast last week and contributed to a 13% overall drop in load posts on the DAT network of load boards.

With weaker demand and the number of available trucks up 2% during the week ending Oct. 13, national average load-to-truck ratios plunged for all three equipment types:

  • Vans: 4.7 loads per truck, down 16%
  • Flatbeds: 18.3, down 17%
  • Reefers: 6.3, down 9%

National average spot truckload rates fell as well:

  • Vans: $2.13/mile, down 4 cents compared to the previous week
  • Flatbeds: $2.51/mile, down 2 cents
  • Reefers: $2.46/mile, down 6 cents

The national average price of on-highway diesel rose another penny last week to $3.39 per gallon.

Van trendlines

Spot van load posts fell 15% on DAT load boards and truck posts increased 1%. Average spot truckload rates fell on 70 of the top 100 van lanes on DAT load boards. Notably, average spot prices out of Atlanta ($2.32/mile) and Charlotte ($2.45/mile) were neutral despite all the canceled shipments from there to Florida.

Key lanes moved lower:

  • Columbus, OH, to Buffalo: $3.64/mile, down 14 cents
  • Allentown, PA, to Boston: $3.93/mile, down 13 cents
  • Chicago to Los Angeles: $1.51/mile, down 12 cents

Reefer trendlines

Spot reefer load posts on DAT load boards were down 8% and truck posts increased 2% compared to the previous week. 

With Hurricane Michael approaching swiftly, shippers, brokers, and truckers in the Southeast rushed to get reefer freight out ahead of the storm. Volumes were up 48% out of Lakeland, FL, and rates rose 5%. Key lanes:

  • Atlanta to Miami was up 17 cents to $3.07/mile
  • Green Bay to Wilmington, IL, jumped 29 cents to $3.78/mile

Aside from that Green Bay lane, other Midwest reefer lanes retreated from the peaks of recent weeks. The region still has some of the highest prices in the country, despite sharp drops in the rates out of Chicago ($3.06/mile, down 15 cents) and Grand Rapids ($3.56/mile, down 9 cents).

Flatbed trendlines

Flatbed load posts fell 15% from the previous week, while truck posts increased 3%. Rock Island, IL. ($3.14/mile, down 20 cents), Las Vegas $3.33/mile, down 22 cents), and Houston ($2.99/mile, down 2 cents) were among the bellwether flatbed markets on the decline.

DAT Trendlines are generated using DAT RateView, an innovative service that provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. RateView's comprehensive database is comprised of more than $57 billion in freight payments. DAT load boards average 1 million load posts per business day.

About the Author

Fleet Owner Staff

Our Editorial Team

Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

Cristina Commendatore, Executive Editor

Scott Achelpohl, Managing Editor 

Josh Fisher, Senior Editor

Catharine Conway, Digital Editor

Eric Van Egeren, Art Director

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...