Load availability was slightly lower last week for vans and flatbeds, but load-to-truck ratios rose because fewer trucks were posted. Rates slipped a cent for vans and reefers but are recovering already this week, given tighter capacity and an increase in the fuel surcharge.
“Small wins this year” for freight, notes DAT’s Ken Harper. “But a W is still a W.”
California is improving for vans and reefers, and you can always find a load in Texas — outbound rates, however, remain low in the Lone Star State.
The two easiest places to find loads on DAT Load Boards this past week have been Atlanta and Houston, but for reefers, rates are not great, especially in Houston. On average, Atlanta to Houston is bringing $1.58 per mile, but a load straight back is averaging just $1.18. Try St. Louis, or Cape Girardeau, Mo., 120 miles to the south, as a destination. Cape Girardeau is actually a Hot Market these days, with a load-to-truck ratio of 4.8, almost three times the national average for reefers. A third load to Atlanta completes the triangle with 2,000 total loaded miles instead of 1,600 for the Atlanta-Houston roundtrip. The average rate for the return $1.38 up to $1.65 per mile. Examine total revenue numbers below to make your own estimates of a per-day average for the trip.