Trucker 1111 Dat Spot 020417 Lg

Spot rates soften even as demand grows

Feb. 9, 2017
A 7.7% gain in spot truckload freight volume and a 2.1% dip in capacity were not enough to buoy spot truckload rates during the week ending Feb. 4, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
A 7.7% gain in spot truckload freight volume and a 2.1% dip in capacity were not enough to buoy spot truckload rates during the week ending Feb. 4, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The national average flatbed rate showed a modest gain while van and refrigerated freight rates both fell last week. These rates for each trailer type remain higher than they were in February 2016, however.


Flatbed load availability jumped 21% while the number of flatbed truck posts was virtually unchanged. That led to a 21% increase in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio to 21.9 loads per truck nationally. The average flatbed rate edged up 1 cent to $1.92/mile—that's the third straight week of penny-a-mile rate increases.

Regionally, spot flatbed rates were mixed as several top-paying lanes experienced a drop-off or modest gains:

  • Reno-Watsonville, Calif.: $3.25/mile, down 43 cents
  • Houston-Fort Worth: $2.13/mile, down 6 cents
  • Roanoke, Va.-Springfield, Ill.: $2.83/mile, unchanged
  • Baltimore-Springfield: $2.85/mile, down 38 cents


The spot market for vans was steady last week as the number of load posts increased less than 1% and truck posts fell 2%. The load-to-truck ratio gained 3% to 2.6 loads per truck and the national average rate slipped 3 cents lower to $1.66/mile. 

Outbound rates declined in many major markets: 
  • Dallas, $1.51/mile, down 1 cent
  • Atlanta, $1.85/mile, down 1 cent
  • Philadelphia, $1.62/mile, unchanged
  • Chicago, $1.96/mile, down 5 cents
  • Los Angeles, $1.90/mile, down 5 cents

In the West, Stockton, Seattle, and Denver all slipped 5 cents lower compared to the previous week, and Denver-Chicago dropped below $1 a mile (97 cents/mile, down 2 cents)


The reefer load-to-truck ratio fell 3% to 5.2 nationally as the number of available loads dipped 5% and capacity was down 3%. The average reefer rate lost 6 cents to $1.91/mile, continuing a pattern of weekly post-holiday declines.

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. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

Get the latest rate trends at

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...