by Vitaliy Dadalyan
Tags: American Freight Trucking
The spot truckload market finished August on a higher note as rates and the number of available loads moved higher during the week ending Sept. 3, according to DAT Solutions and its network of load boards.
Helping this was an 8.4% increase in the number of available loads while truck posts fell 2.5% compared to the week before. During the period the national average cost of diesel was unchanged from the week before at $2.41 per gallon.
The national average van rate gained 6 cents, the reefer rate added 3 cents and the flatbed rate picked up a penny after a mostly lackluster month. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.
Load-to-truck ratios got a healthy boost, an indication that the higher rates may outlast end-of-month and pre-holiday pressure, according to DAT.
Van load posts increased 13% and truck posts fell 2% for a load-to-truck ratio of 3.2 to 1, the highest ratio since July. The spike in freight volume pushed the national average van rate to $1.66 mile and its best showing out of the previous four weeks.
In the Midwest, a 4% increase in freight volume sparked an 8 cents per-mile jump to $1.99 per mile on outbound lanes from Chicago. Rates out of Columbus averaged $1.90 mile, up 6 cents. Van volumes and rates were strong in the Southeast with Charlotte gaining 6 cents to $1.94 per mile, Atlanta up 4 cents to $1.87 per mile and Memphis adding 4 cents to $1.86 per mile.
Other top-paying markets by region:West: Los Angeles, $2.02 per mile, up 2 centsSouth Central: Houston, $1.50 per mile, up 3 centsNortheast: Allentown, Pennsylvania, $2.09 per mile, up 10 cents
In the reefer sector, the number of load posts increased 11% last week while capacity declined 2%. That boosted the reefer load-to-truck ratio 14% to 6.6 loads per truck. The national