Today’s Pickup: Spot rates show no sign of slowing

Spot rates continue to remain high with no end in sight, according to DAT. ( Photo: Shutterstock )

Good day,

The spot market, which has been trending up for much of this year and is near record highs, is showing no signs of slowing down, according to DAT.

DAT Industry Pricing Analyst Mark Montague said that retail numbers continue to back up the firm’s analysis that load volumes will continue to rise and pressure truck capacity. In addition, overall economic growth, especially within the energy and construction markets, relief efforts as Texas and Florida continue to rebuild from the hurricanes, and the approaching ELD mandate are all contributing to keeping demand high.

“If you look at ATA numbers on the for-hire part of trucking, you might say that for-hire freight revenue is the same year to year,” Montague said at the DAT User Conference last month. “But we see the spot market part of truckload growing.”

Did you know?

The new Tesla Semi has a listed price of $150,000 for a 300-mile version, $180,000 for 500 miles and $200,000 if you want a limited production “Founders Series” model.  


“For me, the best part about trucking is being able to see America. Most jobs don’t offer that opportunity. Luckily, on this journey, I’ve had the privilege to provide thousands of people across several states the opportunity to view the beautiful spruce tree before it makes its arrival to Washington. As I travel from one corner of our country to another, I have been inspired at how the nation’s Christmas tree is truly ‘the people’s tree.’”

– Larry Spiekermeier, truck driver for Whitewood Transport, on hauling this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree

In other news:

Carriers, law enforcement making final preps for ELD mandate

While larger carriers are expected to be compliant, many smaller carriers and law enforcement are making final preparations to meet the ELD. (Transport Topics)

What’s it like to haul the Capitol Christmas Tree?

The driver who is hauling this year’s Capitol Christmas Tree detailed his thoughts on that and his job in an op-ed this weekend for FOX News. (FOX News)

Durable goods orders fall

Orders for durable goods fell 1.2% in October and a business investment index also declined, according to the latest government data. (Wall Street Journal)

What can stop Tesla from taking over the industry?

Tesla may have the plans to dominate the trucking industry with its new Semi, but one obstacle may slow that down: truck drivers. (

UPS partners with Chinese company to speed delivery services

UPS and SF Express are working to improve the speed of delivery services of goods from China to the U.S. (Inbound Logistics)

Final Thoughts

Over the holiday weekend Tesla unveiled the pricing for its Semi, and at a base price of $150,000 for 300 miles, it is competitive with over-the-road tractors. However, is that enough to attract fleets, especially with lingering questions over the viability of Tesla long-term?

Hammer down everyone!

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.