Spot Load Volume Drops 11%, Prices Fall

Available capacity increased 3.7 percent compared to the previous week, which helped push spot truckload rates down across all three equipment types.

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After a surge to close out September, the number of posted loads on the spot truckload market dropped 11 percent during the week ending Oct. 10, reports DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Available capacity increased 3.7 percent compared to the previous week, which helped push spot truckload rates down across all three equipment types.

The national average truckload van spot market rate slipped 1 cent to $1.73 per mile, with prices lower across several key markets. Los Angeles ($1.99 per mile, down a penny), Chicago ($1.97, off 5 cents), Dallas ($1.58, down 6 cents), and Buffalo ($1.95, down 6 cents) all showed losses for the week despite having higher average prices in their regions.

Van load availability fell 15 percent while truck capacity jumped 5.6 percent compared to the previous week. The national van load-to-truck ratio declined 19 percent to 1.6 loads per truck, meaning there were 1.6 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.

Refrigerated load availability fell 13 percent while available capacity increased 2.1 percent. The national reefer load-to-truck ratio fell 15 percent to 3.9 loads per truck, contributing to a 5-cent drop in the national average reefer rate to $1.96 per mile. The average outbound rates from Los Angeles fell 6 cents to $2.46 per mile; Lakeland, Fla., dropped 12 cents to $1.24; and Philadelphia slid 8 cents to $2.54.

Flatbed load availability fell 8.9 percent and truck posts were down 1.1 percent, resulting in a 7.9 percent decline in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio to 10.6 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate was 2 cents lower at $2.01 per mile.
The national average price of diesel rose 1 cent to $2.49 per gallon last week. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck available on DAT load boards. The load-to-truck ratio is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.

For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, visit DAT Trendlines is a weekly report on spot market freight availability, truck capacity, and rates.