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Spot Truckload Van Volume Jumps as Reefer, Flatbed Rates Inch Higher

Jun 01, 2017 at 07:42 AM CST

May 31, 2017

By Evan Lockridge

National average spot truckload rates for refrigerated and flatbed freight increased during the week ending May 27 while the rate for van freight slipped due to a lower fuel surcharge, despite strong freight volumes.

DAT Solutions reported the number of available loads on its load boards increased 2.3% compared to the previous week and posted truck capacity fell 0.7% as truckers parked equipment to avoid pre-holiday traffic.

Load-to-truck ratios for vans and reefers ended the week higher, up 13% and 8%, respectively. The van ratio came in a 4.2 loads per truck, it highest level since January, while reefers registered 7.8 loads per truck. In contrast, the flatbed ratio declined 11% to 34.2 loads per trucks.

A 1-cent drop in the national average fuel surcharge caused the van rate to dip a penny to $1.68 per mile. All rates include fuel surcharges.

Nationally, the number of posted van loads increased 12% while truck posts declined 2%, likely signaling the start of summer retail shipments, according to DAT.