Christmas is Over. Why Are There So Many Loads?

Lots of people like to take vacation during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Business is usually pretty quiet, so those vacationers aren’t missing much.

This week has been anything but quiet for trucking, however. The spot market is overwhelmed with loads, and rates are higher than they’ve been all year. What the heck?!

Van Demand Turns the Map Red

On Wednesday, for example, demand for vans turned almost the entire map red, as load-to-truck ratios soared in major markets. (Load-to-truck ratios of 5.5 or more loads per truck are represented by the dark red color on DAT’s Hot States Map, below.)

Two of the easiest places to find a load out were Memphis, with more than 3,000 loads offered on Wednesday alone, and a ratio of 10 loads per truck; and Atlanta, with well over 4,500 loads, at a ratio of 3.9 loads per truck. Things calmed down a bit on Thursday, as load counts were cut almost in half — still thousands per day — but load-to-truck ratios stayed high.

This Hot States Map from DAT RateView depicts the load-to-truck ratio in each state on Wednesday, December 28th. Higher demand for vans drove load-to-truck ratios up throughout most of North America in the week after Christmas.

Reefer Rates Soar for Loads Out of Florida and Texas

Volume was strong leading up to Christmas, and rates soared for outbound reefer loads in Florida, Southern Texas, and even Chicago. Then, just when you’d expect the market to calm down, there was another wave of demand this week — and not enough trucks to deliver the freight. Florida and Texas were still Hot States on the reefer map at mid-week, and load-to-truck ratios were elevated throughout most of the North American continent, except California and Nevada.

Even after Christmas, load-to-truck ratios were elevated for reefers throughout most of North America, and outbound rates stayed high in Florida and Southern Texas. The Hot States Map depicts the load-to-truck ratio for reefers in each state on Wednesday, December 28th.

Find loads, trucks and lane-by-lane rate information in the DAT Power load board, including rates from DAT RateView.