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Spot van rate hits $1.97; reefer rate jumps to $2.16

Van load volume increased 15.6 percent last week while available capacity fell 8.4 percent.

The Trucker News Services

2/13/2014

Grueling travel conditions added to the backlog of freight and helped push average rates on the spot truckload market higher during the week ending Feb. 8, according to DAT Trendlines, a composite of the DAT network of load boards.

Nationally, the average spot rate for van freight was up 3 cents (2.1 percent) to $1.97 per mile, which includes a 1-cent increase in the average fuel surcharge as the price of diesel continued to rise ($3.98 per gallon as a national average).

Van load volume increased 15.6 percent last week while available capacity fell 8.4 percent. This pushed the load-to-truck ratio to 5.2, up 26 percent compared to the prior week. Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on the DAT network of load boards.

Demand for temperature-controlled units climbed 13.4 percent last week while capacity fell 8.6 percent. The refrigerated load-to-truck ratio was 16, a 24 percent increase over the previous week. The national average rate for reefers jumped 10 cents (4.9 percent) to $2.16 per mile, including a 2-cent increase in the average fuel surcharge.

The national average rate for flatbeds was unchanged at $2.09 per mile. A 2-cent dip in the average line-haul rate was offset by a 2-cent increase in the average fuel surcharge. Demand for flatbed equipment increased 7.1 percent last week, while capacity also grew 3.3 percent. The load-to-truck ratio increased 3.7 percent to 21.3 from 20.6 the prior week.

Regionally, the Upper Midwest has been hurt most by the weather so far this winter, even though conditions in the Northeast and Southeast have received more attention. The average van rate from Chicago jumped 15 cents to $2.30 per mile as the region dealt with extremely low temperatures all week. Columbus, Ohio, similarly, was up 9 cents to $2.17 per mile.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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