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Rates and loads increased last week, thanks in part to Roadcheck

May 24, 2024
The International Roadcheck enforcement initiative contributed to a rise in spot market load posts and rates, though both remain lower compared to the same period last year.

Load posts and rates in the spot market increased last week—but posts and rates remained down year over year—according to the latest reports from FTR Transportation Intelligence and DAT Freight & Analytics.

International Roadcheck pushed down driver availability for the week, bringing a greater number of loads to the spot market and slightly increasing rates. However, the latest International Roadcheck was not as influential as previous years’.

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Load posts up, truck posts down

FTR and DAT both reported a significant increase in spot load posts and decrease in available truck posts.

FTR finds rising load-to-truck ratio

FTR’s recorded total spot load activity increased 11.6% from the previous week but declined 5.5% from the same week last year. Total spot load activity was 24% below the week’s five-year average. Meanwhile, total truck postings declined 3%.

FTR’s recorded dry van loads rose 20.6% from the previous week, decreased 6% from the previous year, and were about 19% below the five-year average. Refrigerated loads saw a greater weekly increase but also greater long-term decreases, rising 24.2% from the last week, decreasing 24.2% from the previous year, and sitting 25% below the five-year average. Flatbed loads rose 5.3% from the last week, dropped 3% from the previous year, and were 30% below the five-year average.

With increasing load and decreasing truck postings, the ratio of load to truck postings on Truckstop increased to its highest level since early 2023. The ratio was highest for dry van and refrigerated equipment.

DAT’s rising load, dropping truck posts

DAT Freight and Analytics noted a similar change in its load-to-truck ratio. Spot load posts spiked week over week, while equipment posts decreased.

DAT’s recorded dry van load post volumes increased 30% week over week, while carrier equipment posts decreased 8% week over week. This increased DAT’s dry van load-to-truck ratio by 40% to 5.01. Refrigerated load post volumes increased 33% from the previous week, while carrier equipment posts decreased 15%, increasing the refrigerated load-to-truck ratio by 57% to 8.04. Flatbed load post volumes increased only 8% week over week, while equipment posts dropped 11%, increasing the load-to-truck ratio by 22% to 20.05.

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Spot rates up from last week, down from last year

DAT’s spot rate increases

DAT’s reports also noted a surge in linehaul spot rates week over week, though still down compared to 2023.

The national average dry van linehaul spot rate was $1.63/mile, rising $0.06/mile from the previous week and dropping $0.04/mile year over year. The average refrigerated linehaul spot rate was $1.97/mile, an increase of $0.08/mile week over week and a decrease of $0.08/mile year over year. The average flatbed rate was $2.06/mile, up $0.03/mile from the last week and down $0.11 from the previous year.

About the Author

Jeremy Wolfe | Editor

Editor Jeremy Wolfe joined the FleetOwner team in February 2024. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with majors in English and Philosophy. He previously served as Editor for Endeavor Business Media's Water Group publications.

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