Spot truckload rates on rise in U.S.

by Truck News

PORTLAND, Ore. – Spot truckload rates for van, reefer, and flatbed freight hit new highs in the U.S. in January, in the face of tightening capacity caused by shipper demand and a mandate for electronic logging devices, DAT Solutions reports.

DAT operates North America’s largest truckload freight marketplace.

The national average spot van rate reached a record US $2.26 per mile in January, up 15 cents compared to December, and 59 cents higher than January 2017. (All rates expressed in US dollars.) January’s spot rate was also 14 cents higher than the average contract rate, which means truckload carriers were paid more for one-time loads from freight brokers than longer-term contracts negotiated with shippers, DAT reports.

The national average spot reefer rate hit levels not seen since 2010, at $2.66 per mile – 18 cents higher than December and 71 cents higher than January 2017. It was 31 cents higher than the average contract rate, which DAT referred to as an “extraordinary gap for reefer freight in January.”

The U.S. average flatbed spot rate reached $2.39 per mile, seven cents higher than the previous month and 47 cents higher year over year. The flatbed linehaul rates excluding fuel were higher than any previous month. When fuel charges were added, the rates sit a few cents lower than the summer of 2014, when average surcharges were 20 cents above those seen today.

“Many fleets have reported that the transition [to ELDs] can hamper productivity, at least temporarily,” the company says.


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