DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards, said as a result, spot rates were stable and roughly in line with the same period last year. National average van and flatbed load-to-truck ratios declined slightly, while the reefer ratio increased compared to the previous week, reflecting demand to move fresh produce and temperature-controlled goods ahead of the Christmas holiday.
The national average van load-to-truck ratio edged down from 5.2 to 5.1, while the average spot van rate was a penny lower at $2.07 per mile, DAT Solutions said, adding that the number of van load posts fell 7 percent compared to the previous week, while truck posts declined 6 percent.
Overall, the van market reflected stability, DAT Solutions said, pointing out that among the top 100 van lanes, the number of losers and gainers was balanced and freight schedules showed no obvious signs of stress from e-commerce demands this year.
DAT data showed prices were weaker out of Seattle, Philadelphia and Denver — markets known for low spot van rates. Denver-outbound rates dropped 4 cents to an average of $1.36 per mile last week.
The national average reefer rate was unchanged at $2.42 per mile. The number of reefer load posts was up 6 percent, while truck posts dropped 6 percent, which DAT Solutions said helped elevate rates on high-volume lanes and push the reefer load-to-truck ratio up 12 percent to 7.1.
Reefer rates from McAllen, Texas, continue to reflect strong demand, DAT Solutions said, pointing out that winter harvest activity helped boost the average outbound rate 15 cents to $2.38 per mile. Higher-priced lanes included McAllen to Elizabeth, N.J., which jumped 51 cents to $2.75 per mile, and McAllen to Atlanta, up 25 cents to $2.51 per mile. Dallas-Houston was the region’s high lane for reefer freight, gaining 8 cents to $2.91 per mile compared to the previous week.