Spot market freight dips while rates Inch up

Not surprisingly, in the week of September 12 to 18, load availability on the spot freight market increased by 21% while equipment capacity increased by 26% compared to the week before. The uptick compensates for the one-day hiatus in most load board activity over the Labor Day holiday.

The net? During the first half of September, freight loads declined 10% while capacity increased slightly (1%) on the spot market. Consequently, the load-to-truck ratio came down by 11%, to 5.13 available loads per truck.

Even though demand has declined slightly, capacity is still constrained in many markets nationwide. The impact on rates varies by equipment type: Flatbed and reefer rates moved up by a penny per mile through September 18 compared to the national average for the month of August. Van rates held steady on the spot market at $1.28 per mile for line haul. Spot market rates are updated daily, based on a 30-day rolling average of thousands of broker rate agreements across the U.S.

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Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.