Load-to-truck ratios and spot truckload rates moved lower during the week ending September 15, 2018, as supply chains adjusted to the effects of Hurricane Florence and freight continued a seasonal decline, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
The national reefer rate, which gained 8 cents the previous week, slipped 3 cents to $2.54/mile. The average spot van rate fell 4 cents to $2.16/mile after a 6-cent increase the previous week. Still, reefer and van rates remain higher than their August average.
Reefer and van shipments into storm-impacted areas were heavy leading up to the Friday that Hurricane Florence made landfall, but flatbed shipments paused. Flatbed movements tend to pick up in the days after an emergency once it’s safe to move rebuilding materials and equipment. As a national average, the flatbed rate fell 4 cents to $2.58/mile.
Load posting activity for reefers was up 7% and truck posts rose 14% compared with the previous week, which included the Labor Day holiday; a 20% gain expected. That resulted in a 7% decline in the load-to-truck ratio, from 8.3 to 7.7 loads per truck.
For vans, a 20% to 25% rise in load posts is typical in the week following a four-day workweek. But as the Southeast braced for Florence, van load posts were up only 13% on DAT load boards. Truck posts climbed by 24%, which resulted in a national average of 6.6 loads per truck, a 9% drop.
However, overall volumes on the Top 100 van lanes hit a new high.
Before the storm hit, there were big spikes in van rates heading into the Carolinas and Virginia:
•The average van rate on the lane from Allentown PA to Richmond VA, jumped 60 cents to $3.44/mile, an extremely high rate coming out of the Northeast.
•Atlanta to Charlotte NC gained 20 cents to $2.96/mile.
•The average outbound rate from Charlotte rose 3 cents to $2.54/mile, as shippers moved goods out of the area ahead of the storm.
The national flatbed load-to-truck ratio dipped from 25.5 to 23.3 loads per truck. Flatbed load posts on DAT load boards advanced 15% and truck posts were up 26%.
DAT Trendlines is generated using DAT RateView, a service that provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. RateView’s database is comprised of more than $45 billion in freight bills in 65,000-plus lanes. DAT load boards average 993,000 load posts per business day.
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