Rate Trend of the Week

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Spot van rates poised for a rebound

We're still deep in the slow season, but spot market trends are actually running about a month ahead of schedule. There's been seasonal weakness, but we're already seeing volumes firming up, which is something we don't usually expect until mid-March. In other words, rates are gearing up for a rebound. While DAT predicted in early December that the spot market in Q1 would be weaker than in previous winters, trends are already… Read More

How much lower will freight rates fall?

Has money been a little tighter for your business lately? If you're a small carrier or owner-operator, you're not alone. Freight rates have been in decline since the calendar flipped to 2019. Prices are typically down during this part of winter, but there are signs that rates could thaw soon. The good news is that volumes have been firming up this month. On the top 100 van lanes, February volumes so far have outpaced both 2017 and… Read More

Truckload volumes get a mid-winter boost

You can expect a couple of things to happen pretty much every January: Freight rates will fall, and some will overreact. You don't have to look hard to find doom and gloom prognostications, but I've actually seen three big trends in the last month of DAT freight data to indicate… Read More

Van rates drop to 16-month low

Last week the national average van rate dropped 4¢ to $1.97/mile. The last time the average van rate was below $2 per mile was 16 months ago, in September 2017. There’s the normal seasonal slowdown that occurs around this time each year, but falling fuel surcharges and increased capacity in the spot market are adding to downward pressure on rates. We've seen the same trend play out for… Read More

Few hot spots remain for reefers

Expect a rush of reefer demand this week in areas hit by sub-zero temperatures, as shippers attempt to prevent sensitive cargo from freezing. If you don't want to drive into that slippery mess, head for someplace warm and load up on fresh produce until the storm passes. Rates are cooling off for refrigerated freight across most of the country, but a few hot spots still remain. The hot market in the Western region is Twin… Read More

Freight rates slide in winter slump

Tis the season for falling rates. As we move deeper into the slow season, rates are drifting in their typical seasonal pattern. Van spot rates fell to $2.00 per mile for the month to-date, but spot freight volume hasn’t changed a lot since January 2018. There’s a lot more capacity available, however, so it’s easier for brokers and 3PLs to find a truck at their target price. There are still pockets of high rates, but pricing has dropped… Read More

Extra capacity takes a bite out of prices

A lot of us in the trucking industry had to do something last week that we haven't had to do in a while — work a full, five-day week. Of course, for a lot of trucking companies, the work week can easily last six or seven days, but either way, one thing that the activity on the DAT Load Board told us last week was that pretty much everyone was back to working full… Read More

Rates rise, but gains may be temporary

Truckload capacity remained tight during the first week of 2019, and national average rates increased 3¢ for vans, reefers and flatbeds. However, rates declined on many of the highest volume lanes, so increases in the national averages could be temporary. Lower diesel prices and declining fuel surcharges may also counteract future rate increases. Load posts on the DAT Load… Read More

Flatbed freight regains footing in December

Flatbed carriers didn't hear a lot of good news in the second half of 2018. After the spikes we saw early in the year, prices started a slow and steady decline that lasted for months. That changed in December, as prices reversed course at a time when business is usually slow for flatbed carriers. And the price increase took hold even as lower diesel prices chip away at fuel surcharges. Meantime, it also looks like slowness in the oil… Read More

December van rates broke a 6-year streak

For the first time since 2012, the national average van rate was lower in December than it was in November. While this past December might have been slower than expected, 2018 ended much the same way it started: Not enough trucks to keep up with demand.Less freight moved last week, as businesses shut down for Christmas. But for the loads that did need to… Read More