Van, reefer, flatbed rates all surge to close 2013 with strong year over year growth

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Updated Aug 5, 2014

december ratesPer-mile spot market rates in all three segments spiked in December, according to loadboard Internet Truckstop, closing a year in which rates surged to all-time highs and continually saw strong year over year gains.

The per-mile rate for dry van ($2.04) posted its second highest rate all time since Internet Truckstop began tracking rates in 2005. In December 2012, the van rate was $1.81, according to IT. In the same month in 2011, that rate was $1.73. The van rate was also boosted by November’s 10-cent gain, when it rose to $1.98.

Reefer also closed the year strong and with two consecutive monthly gains. Its per-mile rate in December ($2.27) rose 4 cents in the month and was up 19 cents from the same month in 2012. It was up nearly 30 cents from December 2011’s $1.98.

Flatbed, whose rates are mostly non-volatile and see little month-to-month change, rose 4 cents in the month to $2.08. Save for January and February, flatbed stayed between $2.02 and $2.14 the entire year, whereas reefer ranged from $1.88 and a high of $2.50 and van ranged from $1.66 to $2.09.

Economists and researchers have predicted the hours-of-service rule changes, coupled with other federal regulations, would shrink trucking’s capacity and boost rates.

Also, an economy that’s seen some strides in recent months could be aiding the rate boost, along with the seasonal boosts that come around the holidays.