Rate Trend of the Week

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Van Demand Increases Ahead of Labor Day

Last week there was a rebound in van freight volumes—up about 8%—as stores move back-to-school merchandise and stock up for the Labor Day holiday weekend. Van rates have been dropping at a steady pace all month, but last week the decline slowed, moving just 1¢ lower, to a national average of $2.15/mile. We've now moved from a slight slump to seasonal norms.Rates continue to build strength in the Midwest and… Read More

Reefer demand dips, but fall harvests await

Reefer produce continues to trend down, but fall harvests should reverse the falling volumes and stabilize rates in future weeks. Rates did increase in Idaho and Michigan, and a few of the top markets—namely Atlanta, Green Bay and Twin Falls—saw more loads last week.Overall on the top reefer lanes, freight volumes were down about 6 percent, but the… Read More

Van rates return to spring levels

Van rates stepped down for the sixth week in a row. That's not to say they're low. They're still about 20% higher than last year at this time, but now they've returned to April/May levels after hitting a peak in early July.Many of the markets have looser capacity now than earlier in the summer. There’s been a slowdown in Texas, and volumes and rates are falling in Southern California, after frenzied activity a few weeks ago at the… Read More

Summer freight: Calm before the storm?

Brokers and shippers have had an easier time finding trucks in recent weeks, at least when compared to the first half of the year. That's taken some of the pressure off of pricing, but rates are still high. Spot market volume is also now on par with 2017, with load-to-truck ratios for each trailer type finally coming back to earth. Dry van ratios are… Read More

Dog days of summer freight?

It's looking more and more like you won't have to sweat much of a summer slowdown this year. This would typically be a down time for freight, and while rates in July and August are lower than they were in June, they're still 25 to 30% higher than last year.That steady decline from the June peak might be ending soon, though. Van volumes rose in key places like Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston, which kept outbound rates stable and could… Read More

Flatbed rates recede from record highs, but remain elevated

Flatbed rates are coming down from record highs, but remain elevated even after sharp drops.There is less activity in Texas which may be related to steel tariffs and the difficulty in securing specialty pipe which is manufactured almost entirely of overseas steel. Flatbed pricing remains volatile with large weekly swings in both directions.On DAT's top 78 flatbed lanes, 38 moved higher, 37 were lower, and 3 were… Read More

Flatbeds in July: High rates despite sharp drops

Flatbed pricing has been volatile lately, with large swings in both directions. There were sharp declines last week, with flatbed rates are coming down from record highs, but prices remain elevated.There is less activity in Texas, which may be related to steel tariffs. The specialty pipe used in the oilfields is manufactured almost entirely out of imported steel.Last week on DAT's top 78 flatbed lanes, 38 moved higher, 37 were… Read More

Spot Rates Edge Down From Record Highs, as Contract Rates Keep Rising

The national average van rate edged down to $2.30 per mile during the past week, which is only a penny lower than the average for June. The rolling average for July is still trending down, but it’s not likely to move a lot more before August restarts the clock tomorrow. That makes this a remarkably strong July, which has historically been a quiet month for trucking freight.To put July in context, remember that spot market rates in… Read More

July Van Report: Spot rates fell. Contract rates rose

July has historically been a quiet month for trucking freight. Not so, this year. The national average van rate was $2.29 per mile, just 2 cents lower than the June peak. To put July in context, remember that spot market rates in June hit the highest monthly average for vans, reefers and flatbeds since 2010, when DAT established the original spot rates database. It’s reasonable to assume that June spot rates were the highest… Read More

Reefer rates lose traction in California heat wave

Spot rates are trending down for reefer freight, due to hot weather in Southern California. Temperatures in the “fry eggs on the pavement” range, above 115 degrees, ruined some high-value crops, notably avocados. Other parts of the state were also affected, adding to a typical mid-July decline.One result was a decline in the national average rate for reefers, now $2.65/mile for the month to date. That’s 4¢ below the June… Read More