DAT reports strong truckload spot volumes and rates for May
The company explained that demand for spot market truckload shipments in May hit its highest levels ever for various reasons, including seasonal shipments, and increasing fuel prices, as well as dry van and refrigerated, or reefer, rates in May at their highest levels going back to January and flatbed rates also hitting a new high.
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As 2018 continues to turn the pages on the calendar, the truckload spot market ostensibly continues to get better with each passing month, or so it seems, based on data recently issued by Portland, Oregon-based DAT, a subsidiary of Roper Industries.
In its DAT North American Freight Index, which DAT defines as a monthly measure of demand for spot market freight, the company explained that demand for spot market truckload shipments in May hit its highest levels ever for various reasons, including seasonal shipments, and increasing fuel prices, as well as dry van and refrigerated, or reefer, rates in May at their highest levels going back to January and flatbed rates also hitting a new high.
“Seasonal demand kept truckload capacity tight across the southern half of the country,” said DAT industry analyst Mark Montague in a statement. “We can expect the high volumes and strong market conditions to keep rates elevated through June and beyond.”
DAT explained that spring produce shipments out of the southern tier of the U.S. paced a 9% gain in spot market volumes from April to May, which it said is commonplace for that time of year, with annual volume in May up 34%, due in large part to flatbed volumes heading up 69% annually.
And it added that: “Flatbed demand has been unprecedented this year, bolstered by increased activity in the energy and construction sectors, and compounded by the tighter hours-of-service limitations that have affected every trucking segment since the implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.”
This has subsequently led to new records cited by DAT, including:
- the national average flatbed rate for May was $2.73 per mile, an 8-cent increase over the April average and an all-time high;
- the national flatbed rate was 63 cents higher than in May 2017, which included a 14-cent increase in the average fuel surcharge from a year ago.
- the peak shipping season out of Florida helped push the average reefer rate to $2.52 per mile, 10 cents higher than the previous month’s average and 50 cents higher than last year; and
- spring harvests contributed to tighter truckload capacity for dry van freight as well, which pushed the average van rate up to $2.16 per mile in May, which was was 1 cent higher than the April average and a 47 cent increase from May 2017
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