While van and reefer load-to-truck ratios and spot rates did spike in the Carolinas prior to Hurricane Florence making landfall, demand and pricing on a national level have been stable for the last three weeks — data below is for the week ending September 29 and based on loads moved through DAT load boards:
**Spot van: $2.15/mile, unchanged from the previous week. The number of van load posts increased 4 percent and truck posts declined 3 percent last week, which pushed the national van load-to-truck ratio up 7 percent to 7.3 van loads per truck. Of note: $2.15/mile is 2 cents higher than the overall August average.
**Spot reefer: $2.52/mile, down a penny from the previous week but 3 cents higher than the August average. Reefer load posts increased 3 percent while truck posts declined 2 percent last week. The reefer load-to-truck ratio was up 5 percent to 8.4 loads per truck as volumes rebounded thanks mostly to load counts out of the Midwest and, to a lesser degree, California.
A few hot markets:
**Chicago reefer, outbound: $3.16/mile, up 3 cents last week. This market keeps gaining strength. Chicago to Kansas City climbed 13 cents to $2.82/mile last week. Chicago spot vans gained, too: the outbound van rate averaged $2.66/mile, up 5 cents.
**Grand Rapids reefer, outbound: $3.61/mile, up 2 cents. Another solid Midwest market for spot loads. Grand Rapids to Philadelphia averaged $4.15/mile, up 13 cents last week.
Not so hot:
Some of the biggest declines were on lanes that had previously spiked because of Hurricane Florence. The spot rate for a reefer load from Lakeland, Fla., to Baltimore dropped 19 cents to $1.64/mile; Lakeland to Charlotte lost 15 cents at just $1.40/mile; and Elizabeth to Lakeland dropped 31 cents to $2.43/mile. Trends on these lanes and elsewhere in the region seem poised to resume to normal, climbing slowly and steadily through October.