Truckload non-contract, or spot, rates have hit their highest levels in two years as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma and freight demand from a stronger economy, consultancy DAT Solutions said today.
The spikes were felt across all three major categories: dry van, refrigerated equipment, and flatbed, DAT said. Normal supply patterns have been disrupted as drivers and their equipment have headed to areas of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina affected by the ferocious, back-to-back storms, DAT said.
At the same time, stronger overall freight demand, combined with seasonal pressures for movements of produce, have forced up spot rates as trucks outside of the storm-hit areas have become harder to find, DAT said.
The consultancy said it is seeing a big increase in dry van freight moving from Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta to Florida, as truckers are lured by the promise of premium-priced movements of emergency supplies in the wake of Irma. Commercial loads out of Dallas and Houston are improving as the state returns to normal business following Harvey, the consultancy said.
"Load-to-truck ratios," which measure the ratio of available loads per truck on DAT's load boards, remain high, it said.