Rates for truckloads reached all-time highs this August, according to DAT Freight & Analytics, the industry’s largest online marketplace for spot market freight. Van, refrigerated and flatbed rates increased month-over-month, and load-to-truck ratios rose in all three equipment types.
The DAT Truckload Volume Index, a measure of dry van, reefer and flatbed loads moved by truckload carriers, rose over 1.0% from July and is almost 1.0% higher than August of last year.
“Volatility in shipper networks due to shifting consumer purchasing spilled over to the spot market. For instance, commercial foodservice is way down, but grocery purchases are up,” said Ken Adamo, chief of analytics at DAT. “Asset-based carriers continued to honor their committed volumes but didn’t necessarily provide additional surge capacity. As a result, the number of available loads increased and prices rose to attract additional capacity.”
Thye load-to-truck ratio for vans rose for the fourth straight month to 5.3, signaling excess available loads for every available truck on the DAT network. This is 20% higher than July and more than double the ratio in August of last year.
The spot van rate increased $0.19 over July and $0.41 over August of last yerar, averaging $2.22 per mile nationally. The average spot line-haul rate for vans (total rate minus fuel surcharges) was the highest monthly national average on record and exceeded the national monthly average contract rate for the first time since January 2018.