The national average spot rate for dry van TL loads increased one penny to $2.10 per mile during the week ending Dec. 9, which is a three-year high, according to load board data tracked by DAT Solutions.
Spot prices for flatbed freight also remain high for this time of year, with the national average also increasing a penny to $2.31 per mile. However, the national average spot rate for refrigerated loads tumbled seven cents to $2.40 per mile amid what DAT described as a “lull” in the movement of temperature-controlled goods before the holidays.
However, the overall number of available loads in all three freight categories dipped 10% while a 12% increase in posted spot market capacity pushed load-to-truck ratios down:
- Dry van: 7.2 available loads per truck, down from 9.3
- Refrigerated: 9.8 loads per truck, falling from a multi-year high
- Flatbed: 27.9 loads per truck
DAT said spot dry van volumes declined 14% and truck posts increased 12%. Western markets remain solid with the average outbound rate from Los Angeles up four cents to $2.74/per mile. Memphis, another key market for retail goods, added three cents to jump to $2.40 per mile.
Refrigerated load postings fell 17% and truck posts increased 12% compared to the previous week. The reefer rate dipped despite higher prices in several important markets including Atlanta (up four cents to $2.70 per mile), Lakeland, FL (up seven cents to $1.24 per mile), and McAllen, TX (up four cents to $2.10 per mile).
DAT added that one statistic to keep an eye on is the price of on-highway diesel fuel, which is holding at $2.92 per gallon. Prices dropped in most regions across the U.S. last week but are nearly 50 cents per gallon higher than at this time last year.