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Spot TL Van Rate Rises Up Again; Volumes Decline

| December 14, 2017

Spot TL

The national average spot truckload (spot TL) van rate increased 1 cent to $2.10/mile during the week ending Dec. 9, touching a three-year high, said DAT Solutions.

However, the overall number of available spot TL fell 10% while a 12% increase in posted spot market capacity sent load-to-truck ratios lower:

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

Spot van volumes declined 14% and truck posts increased 12%. Western markets remain solid with the average outbound rate from Los Angeles up 4 cents to $2.74/mile. Memphis, another key market for retail goods, added 3 cents to $2.40/mile.

The national average refrigerated rate tumbled 7 cents to $2.40/mile amid a lull in the movement of  temperature-controlled goods before the holidays. Load posts fell 17% and truck posts increased 12% compared to the previous week. The average rate fell despite higher prices in several busy markets including Atlanta ($2.70/mile, up 4 cents), Lakeland, Fla. ($1.24/mile, up 7 cents), and McAllen, Texas ($2.10/mile, up 4 cents).

Spot prices for flatbed freight remain high for this time of year. The national average flatbed rate increased 1 cent to $2.31/mile, just 3 cents lower than the peak in October when hurricane-relief supplies were rushing into the Southeast.

One stat to watch: the price of on-highway diesel fuel held at $2.92/gallon. Prices are nearly 50 cents higher than this time last year. Spot truckload freight rates include a fuel surcharge portion.

Category: General Update, News

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