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Trucking news: Philadelphia area sees top spot market rates, says TransCore

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 31, 2011

Data from TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index released today found that Northeast-based dry van rates for major lanes were in the top position in the spot market for the seven-day period ending October 26.

TransCore officials said the top paying lane was for short-hauls from Philadelphia to Boston, with average round trip rates at $2.09 per mile, which was up 1 percent from the previous week. Rounding out the top three were dry van rates from Charlotte to Philadelphia and Columbus to Philadelphia, respectively.

On the lower, less profitable end was the backhaul from Charlotte to Memphis at $0.88 per mile, said TransCore. But the firm said that this run could also be profitable, because it added a third leg—or trihaul—to return to its origin. And because of this carriers could add 35 percent more loaded miles through a trihaul through Jackson, Mississippi at $1.50 per mile and then return to Memphis at a rate of $2.08 per mile and increase revenue by 14 percent.

“The spot market has been strong,” said an executive at a freight brokerage firm whom declined to be identified. “We talk with lots of carriers and shippers every week and are buying lots of transportation in the market every week. What I don’t know is how long it will last in terms of lasting through this month or subsiding quickly. The last two or three years, though, we have not had as much seasonal peak as we normally have had in the pre-holiday season.”

The executive added that this data raises the question of whether the economy is as bad as it seems or possibly returning to more normal seasonality as it pertains to inventory.

As LM has reported, shippers and carriers alike have said that the spot market is still attracting top dollar rates, as carriers are reluctant to add capacity at a time when the economic recovery appears tenuous, retail sales are flat, unemployment is high, and gas prices are about a dollar higher than they were a year ago at this time.

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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