Refrigeratedtransporter 3047 Dat Na Freight Index 112017 B

Refrigerated rates reach three-year peak as holiday shipping gets in gear

Dec. 13, 2017
See how the holiday shipping surge pushed refrigerated rates to a three-year high in DAT Solutions' November 2017 index.

Capping an 18-month streak of rising spot market load volume and rates, the national average spot van rate hit $2.07 per mile, the highest monthly average since December 2014, and 5 cents above October levels.

The average refrigerated rate gained 11 cents to $2.43, the highest monthly average since June 2014, as shippers clamored for trucks to move retail freight ahead of the holidays.

Availability of truckload freight in November was 39% higher than the same period in 2016, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. A sensitive indicator of demand for transportation services, the index is published monthly by DAT Solutions, which operates an electronic truckload freight marketplace.

Overall load volume dropped 13% from October, a typical seasonal decline. The number of available van loads dipped 5% while reefer loads increased 4% compared with October.

“Demand for spot truckload services has been at an all-time high since August, and November continues that trend again, despite seasonal declines,” said Mark Montague, DAT industry analyst. “Increased freight activity, higher fuel prices and uncertainty surrounding the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate all contribute to this pressure on rates, which are expected to remain elevated through the end of the year and beyond.”

The number of available flatbed loads declined 26% month over month in November, in line with seasonal expectations. The national average flatbed rate fell 3 cents on the spot market, to $2.30 per mile.

Established in 1978, DAT operates a network of load boards serving intermediaries and carriers across North America. For more than a decade it has published its Freight Index, which is representative of the dynamic spot market.

Founded in 1978, DAT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roper Technologies (NYSE:ROP), a diversified technology company. Go to for more details.

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