Spot truckload rates surge to start New Year

Amid extreme weather and tight capacity, national average spot truckload rates saw double-digit increases during the week ending Jan. 6, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The number of available loads increased 27%, in line with expectations when a full workweek follows a holiday-shortened one. However, the number of trucks posted to DAT load boards was up just 7.4% and the imbalance pushed load-to-truck ratios up for all three equipment types:
•Van load-to-truck ratio: 14.7, the highest van ratio ever recorded in DAT Trendlines
•Flatbed ratio: 63.5, up 22%
•Reefer ratio: 25.2, up 6%

In the van market, load posts jumped 26% but truck posts were up only 6%, as many truckers were still taking time off. The national average van rate was $2.30/mile, up 19 cents compared to the previous week.

Houston ($2.02/mile, up 11 cents) was the top market for outbound van volume and most of the top 100 van lanes saw higher rates. A sampling:
•Chicago, $3.02/mile, up 10 cents
•Columbus, Ohio, $2.87/mile, up 9 cents
•Buffalo, N.Y., $2.87/mile, up 5 cents
•Philadelphia, $2.35/mile, up 5 cents
•Memphis, $2.58/mile, up 10 cents
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