Shipping demand in advance of the holiday shopping season boosted average national spot market van rates to a three-year high of $2.07 per mile in November.
This is the latest sign of a continued healthy trucking industry, according to a new report by industry data provider DAT Solutions, which tracks rates.
November spot rates were 5 cents higher compared with October. Refrigerated truck, or reefer, rates increased 11 cents to $2.43 in November, the highest level since June 2014.
Available truckload capacity jumped 39 percent year-over-year during the month while overall load volume dropped 13 percent from the prior month, a normal dip for this time of year, according to DAT.
The report reinforces other recent data that suggests the industry remains on the upswing. In October, ACT Research’s freight rate pricing index jumped to 75, its highest level since April 2011 and more than 22 percentage points higher than October 2016. Additional analysis from the industry research group showed trailer orders are up 50 percent over last year, an indication carriers are adding capacity to meet increased freight volume.
The American Trucking Association’s seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index, which tracks freight volume, the amount of cargo hauled in October rose 9.9 percent compared with the same period a year earlier. It was the largest increase since December 2013, further underscoring a strong freight market.
DAT data is based on $33 billion in transactions between freight brokers and carriers recorded during November, including fuel surcharges but excluding other fees.