Photo: American Trucker
Fleetowner 31508 Link Spotrates 1

Spot rates fall as available truck capacity jumps 11%

April 17, 2018
The national average rate for van and refrigerated freight declined while the flatbed price held steady.

Spot truckload rates moderated during the week ending April 14 as more trucks returned to the spot market. The number of trucks posted to the DAT network of load boards jumped 11% compared to the previous week while the number of loads fell almost 1%.

The national average rate for van and refrigerated freight declined while the flatbed price held steady:

  • Van: $2.21/mile, down 3 cents
  • Flatbed: $2.63/mile, unchanged
  • Reefer: $2.44/mile, down 4 cents

Van overview: Van load posts decreased 1% and truck posts increased 1%, sending the van load-to-truck ratio 11% lower to 6.6 loads per truck. Overall, just 40 of DAT’s Top 100 van lanes recorded higher rates. Key van markets:

  • Dallas: $2.05/mile, down 2 cents but the number of available outbound loads increased 8.4%
  • Stockton: $2.03/mile, up 3 cents on an 18% increase in freight volume
  • Los Angeles: $2.31/mile, down 1 cent on a 4% decline in volume

Flatbed overview: Flatbed load posts increased 1% and truck posts gained 8% last week, causing the flatbed load-to-truck ratio to settle down 7% to 103 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate of $2.63/mile remains the highest flatbed rate recorded on DAT Trendlines.

Reefer overview: The national load-to-truck ratio for reefers dropped 15%, from 11.0 to 9.4 loads per truck as reefer load posts declined 6% and truck posts increased 11%. Florida is entering peak produce season with the average rate from Lakeland up 7 cents to $1.84/mile. Cold weather has hampered California production but the Central Valley is picking up: at $2.49/mile, the average rate from Fresno, Calif., rose 13 cents on higher demand. Midwest volumes were lower but winter conditions drove up rates on several lanes:

  • Green Bay to Des Moines: $2.65/mile, up 41 cents
  • Grand Rapids to Madison: $3.00/mile, up 35 cents

This report is generated using DAT RateView, a service that provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. RateView's database is comprised of more than $45 billion in freight bills in over 65,000 lanes. For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit

About the Author

Fleet Owner Staff

Our Editorial Team

Kevin Jones, Editorial Director, Commercial Vehicle Group

Cristina Commendatore, Executive Editor

Scott Achelpohl, Managing Editor 

Josh Fisher, Senior Editor

Catharine Conway, Digital Editor

Eric Van Egeren, Art Director

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