Spot Truckload Rates Continue a Slow-and-Steady Climb

For van rates, rising lanes continue to outnumber falling lanes on a week-to-week basis, but it’s been a slow, long-term trend. Trucks are still relatively easy to find in some parts of the country, which has put a speed limiter on rising rates.

Load-to-truck ratios are highest for vans in the darker red areas on the Hot States Map above.

Top 5 for van load posts on DAT load boards last week

1. Atlanta
2. Charlotte
3. Houston
4. Dallas
5. Memphis

All 5 had load-to-truck ratios that were above the national average, with Charlotte topping out at 6.1 loads per truck.

Dallas, Philadelphia and Stockton, CA, each posted the biggest gains in terms of outbound rates, so the gains weren’t tied to any specific region.

RISING

The average rate on each of these lanes hit their highest marks for the past 6 weeks:

  • Philadelphia to Boston jumped up 27¢ to $3.34/mile
  • Memphis to Columbus hit $1.89/mile, up 14¢
  • Dallas to Denver rose 11¢ to $1.94/mile
  • Stockton to Seattle also added 15¢ for $2.18/mile

FALLING

There haven't been any significant downward trends in any major markets. Buffalo and Denver are the only markets where outbound rates are down more than 1% for the month. Buffalo was mostly neutral last week, and volumes were up sharply in Denver.

  • Houston to OKC dropped 9¢ to $1.80/mile last week
  • Memphis to Dallas also dipped▼9¢ to $2.09/mile
  • One more 9¢ drop: Denver to Albuquerque fell to $1.66/mile


Load-to-truck ratios are highest for reefers in the darker blue areas on the Hot States Map above.

Reefer rates continued to their spring momentum, but volumes were down significantly in several major markets, including Southern Idaho, Grand Rapids, and Philadelphia. Reefer load counts were way down out of Florida, but that’s likely due to the recent wildfires in the area. Rains over the weekend thankfully brought some relief and aided firefighters.

RISING

Even though volumes were down in Florida, the wildfires and evacuations made it more expensive to move freight.

  • Miami to Boston reefer rates were up 23¢ to $2.14/mile
  • Lakeland, FL, to Baltimore climbed 26¢ to $2.00/mile

Out of California, the lane from Ontario to Seattle was up 30¢ to $2.35/mile. Ontario includes the Imperial Valley, and lettuce volumes are crashing there. The seasonal shift is now up to the Huron district in the Fresno market, which is expected to move about 650 loads of head lettuce a week.

Sacramento to Denver also added 30¢ at an average of $2.32/mile, while Atlanta to Philadelphia surged 38¢ to $2.38/mile.

FALLING

The Mexican produce crossing the border at Nogales, AZ, is now past its peak, but there are still a lot of truckloads of watermelon and vine ripe tomatoes.

  • The largest drop last week was on the lane from Chicago to Philly, which fell 23¢ to $2.37/mile
  • McAllen, TX, to Dallas retreated but is still strong at $2.50/mile

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

Categories: Rate Trend of the Week

Matt Sullivan

Matt Sullivan is the editor of DAT Carrier News. He has more than 10 years of journalism experience.



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