Source: DAT Trendlines
National average per mile spot market rates are derived from DAT RateView.

TL spot rates jump as number of loads rises 3.2%

April 11, 2018
Spot flatbed ratio and national average rate reach record highs.

The number of loads on the DAT network of load boards increased 3.2% and load-to-truck ratios moved higher for all three equipment types during the week ending April 7.

Capacity on DAT load boards fell 2.7%. Fewer available trucks and more loads helped push national average spot truckload rates higher:

Van: $2.24/mile, up 9 cents compared to the March average;
Flatbed: $2.63/mile, up 10 cents to a new record high on DAT Trendlines;
Reefer: $2.48/mile, an 8-cent gain.

Load availability during the first week of April picked up where it left off in March. The number of loads posted last month was up 92% compared to March 2017 while the number of trucks posted was down 7%.

Flatbed overview: Flatbed load posts increased 6% and truck posts declined 3% last week and the flatbed load-to-truck ratio increased 9% to 111, the highest-ever weekly load-to-truck ratio in DAT Trendlines for any equipment type. The national average flatbed rate of $2.63/mile is the highest flatbed rate recorded on DAT Trendlines.

Van overview: The number of available van loads increased 1% while truck posts declined 2% last week, which caused the van load-to-truck ratio to increase 3% to 7.4 loads per truck. Spot rates were higher on 52 of DAT’s Top 100 van lanes. Key van markets:

  • Los Angeles: $2.36/mile, up 6 cents
  • Houston: $2.21/mile, up 4 cents
  • Columbus, Ohio: $2.78/mile, up 8 cents

Reefer overview: With 5% fewer trucks posted last week, the national load-to-truck ratio for reefers increased 6% to 11.0 loads per truck. Rates were up on 44 of DAT’s highest-volume reefer markets; 25 trended down. California reefer markets continue to strengthen, with the average outbound rate from Los Angeles up 11 cents to $2.90/mile.

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