Indicators: Spot rates dip slightly from June’s record highs, trucking employment ticks up

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Updated Aug 7, 2018

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

Rates data from data from

Spot rates dip, but remain near all-time highs: Spot market rates eased slightly in July from their record highs in June, according to monthly rates data from, but rates in all three major segments are still trending well above their per-mile averages year over year.

Reefer again posted the highest per-mile average, $2.93. That’s a 9-cent drop from the month prior, but a 62-cent gain from July 2017. It’s the segment’s first monthly dip since January to February.

Flatbed rates in July fell 3 cents a mile on average, to $2.85. It was the segment’s first month-to-month decline since November. July’s per-mile flatbed average was 56 cents higher than the same month last year.

Van rates also dipped 3 cents in July, to $2.70 a mile. Compared to last July, van’s average was up 62 cents a mile.

Trucking added 4,400 jobs in July: The for-hire trucking industry added 4,400 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis in July, according to the Department of Labor’s monthly Employment Situation Report. The industry has added jobs every month since last September, according to the DOL, save for a drop from March to April.

Trucking industry employment totaled 1.4809 million in July, up 27,100 jobs from the same month last year. The U.S. economy as a whole in July added 157,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis, and the country’s unemployment rate was 3.9 percent.

The construction industry in July gained 19,000 jobs, and manufacturing added 37,000 jobs. The transportation and warehousing sector, which is the umbrella sector for trucking, lost 1,300 jobs.

Trucking’s total is based on payroll statistics of employers and does not account for those who change jobs in the month or for those working for private fleets.