Refrigeratedtransporter 1983 Spot Mkt Chart March

Truckload volume’s rally can’t offset lagging rates

April 14, 2017
The DAT North American Freight Index climbed 47% in March 2017, the first month-over-month increase of the year as shippers ramped up freight activity, reported DAT Solutions.

The DAT North American Freight Index climbed 47% in March 2017, the first month-over-month increase of the year as shippers ramped up freight activity, reported DAT Solutions, which operates an on-demand freight exchange.

Spot truckload rates responded with only modest gains, however. The national average spot rates for van and refrigerated freight added just 1 cent to $1.63 per mile and $1.87 per mile, respectively, compared with February, including average fuel surcharges.

“Rates rose in the last week of March, as shippers rushed freight out to end the quarter on a high note, but that was not enough to offset soft market conditions from early March,” said Don Thornton, senior vice-president, DAT.

Demand for trucking services in construction and energy was particularly strong for spot flatbed freight.

Flatbed load posts rose 45% while truck posts advanced 6% over February. That pushed the flatbed load-to-truck (L/T) ratio up 38% to 36.6, meaning there were 36.6 available flatbed loads for each truck on the DAT network—a 109% gain over March 2016. A flatbed L/T ratio of 18 is considered very favorable for carriers, and the average flatbed rate was up 6 cents to $2.03 per mile.

Van load posts surged 47% and truck posts climbed 13% in March versus February, for a national average van L/T ratio of 3.2, which is below the 5.5 ratio favoring carriers. Likewise, reefer loads jumped 49% and truck posts increased 14% for a L/T ratio of 6.2. A ratio of 12 is considered extremely favorable to refrigerated carriers.

Rates continued to rise in the first week of April, however, signaling a strong start to the second quarter.

Access www.DAT.com for further information.

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 ...