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Today’s Pickup: Spot rates again on the rise

A new month, but the same old story. Spot rates rose again according to data from DAT, with the national van and flatbed rates each climbing 3 cents per mile and refrigerated rates rising 4 cents for the week of July 30 to Aug. 5.

Van rates have climbed to $1.82 per mile, while flatbed rose to $2.22 and refrigerated $2.12.

“Rates rose for freight heading into population centers in the Northeast, especially on lanes that originate in Chicago, Columbus and Buffalo, as well as other markets with retail distribution centers. Meanwhile, outbound rates and volume cooled off seasonally in the Southeast,” DAT reported.

DAT also noted that flatbed rates have traditionally peaked in the second quarter, but this year looks different, with the rates holding steady throughout July and now ticking up as August begins.

On the refrigerated side of the market, the spot market rate has remained above $2 per mile for 11 consecutive week. DAT also said the load to truck ratio climbed higher compared to the last full week of July. The ratio was 8.8 for July versus 5.2 in July 2016.

Did you know?

U.S. wholesale inventories rose 0.7% in June, following a 0.6% jump in May. At the same time, auto inventories rose 1.4% as sales continue to slow.


“The potential to screen for the safest candidates among younger new entrants is an exciting step in the industry’s workforce expansion. We look forward to working with ATRI in the development and testing of the Younger Driver Assessment Tool.”

Greg Koepel, vice president, workforce development and administration, Roehl Transport, on a new tool from ATRI to identify potential drivers

In other news:

FMCSA adds 12 new violations to SMS scores

FMCSA has announced in order to provide a more complete picture of a carrier’s overall safety rating, it has added 12 new violations to the SMS scoring system. (FMCSA)

Freight indexes fall

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the Freight Transportation Services Index for June dropped 0.8% to 126.2, off its all-time high of 127.2 in May. Truck tonnage also dropped, according to the American Trucking Associations. (Land Line Magazine)

ELD makers frustrated with uncertainty

Several ELD makers have expressed frustration with the continued uncertainty surrounding the ELD deadline, believing the continued efforts to delay the rule will cause a rush just before the deadline to purchase the devices. (Fleet Owner)

Are truck makers risking their existence?

A new report from Piper Jeffray suggests that traditional truck makers are running a risk of becoming obsolete if they don’t move faster to electric drivetrains. (

Japanese firm interested in bringing Transfix’s service to Asia

Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. has invested in Transfix and is hoping to bring the service to Asia. (Nikkei Asian Review)

Final Thoughts

FMCSA has added 12 new violations to its Safety Measurement System. Five the violations are related to drugs or alcohol and four are related to tires, including load exceeding tire limits. One to watch out for is “driver having any measured alcohol concentration, or any detected presence of alcohol while on duty, or operating, or in physical control of a CMV.” In other, don’t even think about having a single beer and then an hour later getting in the truck.

Hammer down everyone!

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand 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. You can reach him at [email protected]