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Van, Refrigerated Freight Rates Remain Strong, Unchanged

Firm capacity and demand on the spot truckload freight market made for stable rates during the week ending August 23, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. The total number of posted van, refrigerated, and flatbed loads decreased 1.4 percent while the available capacity dipped 0.1 percent compared to the previous week.

The national average van rate was unchanged for the third consecutive week at $2.00 per mile. Historically, thatís a strong rate for mid-August, and 16 cents higher than the average rate at this time last year. High-paying markets for outbound spot van freight included Stockton, Calif. ($2.29 per mile on average); Columbus, Ohio ($2.24); Dallas ($1.93); Memphis ($2.32); and Buffalo ($2.20).

Van freight availability fell 1.5 percent and capacity edged down 0.6 percent for a 2.0 percent decline in the national average load-to-truck ratio. It still rounds up to 3.2 loads per truck, meaning there were 3.2 van loads posted for every van available on DAT load boards.

In the refrigerated freight market, the national average spot rate remained at $2.28 per mile compared to the previous week. Results out of California were mixed as the average Sacramento outbound rate held at $2.68 per mile, Fresno dropped 6 cents to $2.19 per mile, and Los Angeles lost 2 cents at $2.70 per mile.

Reefer rates elsewhere throughout the country generally held strong as freight availability increased another 4.8 percent last week and capacity declined 2.3 percent. The refrigerated load-to-truck ratio was up 7.3 percent at 10.3 for the week, which is high for this time of year.

The national average flatbed rate declined 1 cent to $2.44 per mile. Load availability declined 3.5 percent for flatbeds and capacity barely changed; as a result, the flatbed load-to-truck ratio slipped 3.3 percent to 35.3 loads per truck.

Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on DAT load boards. The load-to-truck ratio is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which 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 $24bn in freight bills in more than 65,000 lanes.

Source: DAT Solutions

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