Spot rates momentum resumed in Feb. as per-mile averages climbed across truckload segments

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sport market paid rate for flatbed, reefer, and dry van from February 2019 - February 2021Per-mile spot rates averages from February 2019 through February 2021. After the downturn last spring, rates shot up through late 2020. Rates averages in all three major truckload segments climbed in February. (Data provided by Truckstop.com)

Per-mile rates on the spot market resumed their upward momentum in February after growth stalled slightly in January, according to rates data from Truckstop.com. The dips in January followed a roughly six-month streak of gains seen in the back half of 2020 as certain freight sectors were buoyed by shifts in consumer spending and a jumbled supply chain put continued upward pressure on spot rates. 

In February, those market forces appear to have regained their footing, with flatbed adding 5 cents a mile on average and reefer and dry van rates adding three cents a mile on average. 

Flatbed's $2.69 per-mile average in February was the segment's highest since September 2018 and was 30 cents higher than the same month last year and 34 cents higher than February 2019. 

Reefer's $2.68 a mile average, three cents higher than January, outpaced last February by 45 cents a mile. Reefer's February per-mile average was 31 cents higher than February 2019. Reefer hit multi-year highs in the fall. 

Lastly, dry van's $2.58 average, also up three cents month to month, bested January 2020's average by 48 cents and January 2019 by 32 cents. Like reefer, dry van hit multi-year high marks in the fall. 

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