Supply Chain News / Risk & Compliance / Ground

DAT: Spot Van Rates End 2013 "Unusually Strong"

January 7, 2014
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Spot truckload rates across all equipment types climbed during the week ending Dec. 28, according to DAT Trendlines, a composite of the DAT network of load boards. At $1.95 per mile (including fuel surcharge), the average spot rate for van freight increased 1 cent and was 7 cents higher than the average rate in November.

The number of available dry van loads fell 47.8 percent, which capacity dropped 33.8 percent. That pushed the load-to-truck ratio down 21.2 percent to 3.3 compared to 4.2 the prior week. Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on the DAT network of load boards.

"Van rates rose in July instead of dropping, as is typical for the season. Even as freight volume finally tapered off after Thanksgiving, rates remained high. During Christmas week, van rates rose even further. The national average hit a peak of $1.95 per mile in the last full week of the year. I don't think I've ever seen that before, and I've been a transportation pricing analyst for decades," says DAT Analyst Mark Montague in his latest blog, "Rates Rise, Like Déjà Vu All Over Again."

The national average flatbed rate gained 4 cents last week to $2.15 per mile. Nationally, demand for flatbed loads fell 41.9 percent while capacity dropped 32.9 percent. That pushed the load-to-truck ratio down 13.4 percent to 13.5.

The national average reefer rate climbed 3 cents to $2.12 per mile. Strong rates outbound from Florida and Southern California, along with challenging weather conditions, contributed to the elevated national average. Available loads for reefers fell 37 percent over the prior week, while reefer capacity dropped 32 percent. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to decline 7.4 percent to 11.3 last week.

For a complete national and regional report on spot rates and demand, visit

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