The spot truckload freight market followed seasonal patterns during the week ending April 4, 2015, as load availability increased and capacity tightened, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. Overall, the number of available loads on DAT load boards rose 3.2% against a 1.0% decrease in posted capacity compared with the previous week. The national average rate for flatbed freight added 3 cents to $2.22 per mile, reflecting a 5-cent uptick in the linehaul portion of the rate and a 2-cent drop in the fuel surcharge. Regionally, average flatbed rates out of Pittsburgh PA rose 27 cents to $2.36 per mile and Harrisburg PA added 20 cents to $3.59 per mile. Southeastern markets stayed strong as Tampa FL jumped 23 cents to $1.63 per mile and Jacksonville FL, down a penny, was $2.71 a mile. Flatbed load availability was up 9% the week ending April 4 while capacity also added 3.4%. The load-to-truck ratio rose 5% from 19.9 to 20.9 loads per truck, meaning that for every available flatbed truck the week ending April 4 there were 20.9 available loads.
Demand for refrigerated equipment slipped (down 0.8%) while available capacity increased 1.9%, which pushed the reefer load-to-truck ratio down from 8.2 to 7.9. The national average rate for reefer freight was unchanged at $2.15 per mile. Nationally, the average spot rate for van loads was $1.92 per mile the week ending April 4, down 2 cents due to a decline in the fuel surcharge. The linehaul portion of the rate has been unchanged for four weeks. Van freight availability slipped 0.5%, with reduced activity at the end of the week due to Good Friday and the start of a new fiscal quarter. Truckload capacity fell 2.9%, boosting the national load-to-truck ratio 3.5% from 3.4 to 3.5 loads per truck. Rates are derived from DAT RateView and the DAT Network of load boards. Go to www.dat.com/trendlines for a complete national and regional report on spot rates and demand.