Rates in July Stay Close to June Highs

Van and flatbed rates rebounded this week, following “Backhaul Tuesday.” Van rates jumped 4¢ per mile as a national average to $1.42 ($1.89 including fuel.) Reefer rates added 1¢ to reach an all-time high $1.79 for linehaul, $2.27 all in. Flatbed rates rose 2¢ to $1.68 ($2.19 with fuel) but slipped back to $1.66 ($2.17) within a few days, just a penny below the June peak. These national averages include head hauls and back hauls, so rates in high-volume lanes tend to be much higher.

We have been collecting and measuring spot market rates as a distinct category at DAT since 2009, but I have been in the transportation industry myself for decades. I’ve never seen rates rise higher in July than in June. Rates always slump in July. Always.

Will this year be the exception? We are only ten days into the new month, but it sure looks like a trend to me. There are several business reasons for high rates, but CARB and the new HOS, along with unusually robust crops, may push rates higher this summer than they have ever been.

Line haul rates are on track to remain higher in July than in June on the spot market, for the first time in memory. (Rate data for 2013 includes all rates recorded through July 10.)

What are you seeing in your lanes?