The surge of freight during the last full week of July continued into the week ending Aug. 5, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards, as August had a stronger start than any month in more than a year and a half. The number of posted loads was nearly unchanged compared to the previous week, while available capacity fell 2.1 percent.
National average van, flatbed, and refrigerated rates all increased.
For van freight, load posts edged up 2 percent, while truck posts fell 3 percent, bumping the van load-to-truck ratio from 5.2 to 5.5. The national average van rate increased 3 cents to $1.82/mile, higher than the average rates for June and July. The biggest rate jumps were on lanes heading to retail distribution centers in the Northeast in advance of back-to-school shopping season.
Buffalo, New York, saw the largest average rate gain of any major van market last week, up 11 cents to $1.98/mile. Other key outbound markets: Chicago, $2.15/mile, up 7 cents; Dallas, $1.74/mile, up 2 cents; Los Angeles, $2.12/mile, down 1 cent; and Atlanta, $2.09/mile, down a penny.
Flatbed load posts declined 7 percent last week, while the number of truck posts rose 2 percent. At $2.22/mile, the national average flatbed rate was 3 cents higher compared to the previous week. Overall, 18 percent more flatbed loads moved last week than the week before, and rates are holding up well, especially in the Midwest. Rock Island, Illinois, averaged $2.75/mile, up 25 cents, while Cleveland hit $2.25/mile, up 17 cents.
Nationally, reefer load posts increased 4 percent, and truck posts fell 2 percent. The average reefer rate rose 4 cents to $2.12/mile.
Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. All reported rates include fuel surcharges. For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit dat.com/industry-trends/trendlines.