Freight Rates

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Volumes are up in 2019, but not rates. Here's why.

Although rates have dropped considerably from record levels in 2018, spot market freight volume — actual loads moved — was higher in the first half of 2019 compared to the same period last year. Read More

Contract rates are up compared to 2018, but for how long?

This year's truckload spot market rates have fallen well short of the heights set in 2018, but it's a different story for contract freight. For the first half of 2019, contract rates were 3% higher than in 2018. Reefer rates increased the most, followed by vans and then flatbeds. Read More

Winter storms bring rapid changes to freight markets

Last week's Arctic weather stalled freight movement in and out of key markets in the Midwest. But the storm passed in just a couple of days, so it didn't have a big impact on national rate trends for the week as a whole. To understand the recent storm, and get ready for the next one, it's important to look at rate and volume trends day by day, for a single market. Take Chicago, for example. It's a major freight hub for trucking and… Read More

Canadian cargo boosts Buffalo

If you're covering a load from Buffalo, NY, there's a good chance it actually originated in Canada. The city is on the border, less than 100 miles from Toronto, our northern neighbor’s largest metro area.Buffalo’s nickname, “The City of Good Neighbors,” describes its importance in the U.S. relationship with our biggest export market. No surprise – the Buffalo metro area is home to countless warehouses and distribution centers… Read More

Hurricane Florence path includes 4 port cities

Although the coastal towns in the path of Hurricane Florence are generally at the receiving end of the distribution chain, there are 4 port cities in the hurricane's path that will certainly affect freight movements — and likely result in rate increases in those markets.Want to help? Visit our Emergency Freight page for resources regarding FEMA loads,… Read More

Forecast: When will contract rates flatten?

Shippers are asking, “How much longer will this challenging freight environment last?” The standard answer sounds like something out of Winnie-the-Pooh, as Eeyore says: “Days, weeks, months, years. Who knows?” Moderating factors are already apparent in DAT data. First, carriers are posting their trucks more often. The load-to-truck ratio slipped lower for vans in the past three weeks, although still high at 7.3 loads per… Read More

AUDIO: What Can We Expect for Rates in June?

DAT Pricing Analyst Mark Montague appeared on Land Line Now/a to discuss the latest spot market trends. He explained the market conditions that led to higher rates before Memorial Day, and what we might expect heading into June. Read More

How the Fuel Surcharge Affects Truckload Freight Rates

Even though it's rarely even mentioned in a broker's rate confirmation, the fuel surcharge has a big impact on truckload freight rates. Fuel surcharges were invented in the 1970s, when an oil embargo by Arab countries caused shortages and skyrocketing prices at the pump. "Skyrocketing" is a relative term. Prices went from 38¢ per gallon in 1973 to 53¢ in 1974, then hit $1.19 per gallon in 1980. That's for regular leaded gasoline, as… Read More

Flatbed Rates and Ratios at Record Highs

While van and reefer prices have moderated in March and April after peaking in early January, flatbed prices and demand stayed red-hot. The national average flatbed rate hit its highest level since DAT began publishing spot market rates in 2010. Research and identify freight trends with… Read More

AUDIO: Mixed Signals on the Spot Market

DAT Market Analyst Peggy Dorf sat with Terry Scruton of to talk about current freight trends and the mixed signals from the spot market in mid-April. Read More