Spot flatbed load-to-truck ratio sets record

Flatbed load availability and rates made big gains and the flatbed load-to-truck ratio hit a new record during the week ending March 10, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The number of flatbed load posts increased 10.8% while truck posts dipped 1% compared to the previous week. There were 88.5 available loads for every flatbed truck posted on DAT load boards, up 11%. It was 61.8 a month ago and below 30 in November.

Flatbed freight includes construction materials, machinery, and other heavy loads. The national average flatbed rate was $2.50/mile, 11 cents higher compared to the previous week. 

Houston was the largest market in terms of outbound flatbed freight volume. The number of available loads in Houston jumped 11.4% and the average outbound rate was up 6 cents to $2.70/mile.

After two weeks of rising volumes, the number of van loads slipped 0.6% last week while truck posts increased 3.1%. The result was a mostly neutral week in terms of rates; the national average spot van rate was $2.14/mile, unchanged for the third straight week. The van load-to-truck ratio was down slightly to 6.8 loads per truck.

Reefer load posts increased 4% while truck posts increased 5%. That caused the national load-to-truck ratio for reefers to decline from 10.6 to 10.5 loads per truck. The national average reefer rate held steady at $2.40/mile for the second week in a row.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit and join the conversation on Twitter with @LoadBoards.

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