Flatbed Rates Highest In 2 Years, Van & Reefer Rates Up Also
Early May brought higher spot market rates for each trailer type. For vans and reefers, the national averages were the highest they’ve been since January at $1.70/mile and $1.97/mile respectively. For flatbed, the national average was the highest it’s been in nearly two years at $2.09/mile.
Spot market van volumes slipped last week, with some energy sector freight leaving the van marketplace. Still, the previous week’s volume leaders were last week’s biggest rate gainers, and 52 of the top 100 van lanes saw higher rates, compared to the 37 which paid less. The other 17 held steady week-over-week.
The number of total available loads fell 6% compared to the previous week while truck capacity was virtually unchanged, down just 0.4%. Load-to-truck ratios increased for reefer freight on the strength of produce season but dipped for vans and flatbeds.
Spot market van rates rose in Houston. Rates are also trending up in California due to tomato production. Tomato harvests obviously equal more reefer freight, but processed and canned tomatoes in paste and sauces also lead to more van freight. Rates out of Philadelphia have continued to decline.
Spot market flatbed rates are rising out of Houston, Savannah, Ft. Worth and Atlanta with freight hitting the seaports and then moving inland through the conversion process. Rates on freight headed north out of Birmingham were less than those headed south.