Indicators: Spot market rates sky high in January, trucking employment ticks up

CCJ‘s Indicators rounds up the latest reports on trucking business indicators on rates, freight, equipment, the economy and more.

Spot Market Paid RatesSpot market rates leapt to record-highs in January: Per-mile rates on the spot market in all three major truckload segments gained again in January, according to monthly rates data from Reefer and dry van rates hit at least 7-year highs, according to’s data.

Reefer rates jumped 29 cents from December to $2.80 a mile — a 71-cent increase from the same month in 2017, and the highest since began distributing data to CCJ in 2011.

Van rates jumped 14 cents, to $2.54 a mile. That’s a 60-cent gain over last January and, like reefer, the highest monthly per-mile average for the segment since began providing rates data to CCJ.

Flatbed rates rose 3 cents in January to $2.44 a mile, up 40 cents from January 2017. That’s the segment’s highest average since September 2014.

Trucking added 2,200 jobs in January: Total employment in the for-hire trucking industry rose by 2,200 jobs in January, according to the Department of Labor’s monthly Employment Situation Report. However, the DOL dramatically revised previous months’ employment data for the trucking industry, cutting December and November totals by about 20,000 jobs each.

The economy as a whole in December added 200,000 jobs, according to the DOL, and the unemployment rate remained 4.1 percent.

For-hire trucking employment totaled 1.46 million in December, a gain of 13,800 jobs from last January, according to the DOL’s revised figures.