The number of posted loads jumped 5.7 percent while available capacity fell 4.5 percent on the spot truckload freight market during the week ending Oct. 3, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
Demand for trucks rose as shippers rushed to move inventory before the end of the quarter. A 1-cent decline in the average fuel surcharge helped keep spot rates in check.
The national average truckload van spot market rate dipped 1 cent to $1.74 per mile, although line-haul prices actually rose outbound from Los Angeles, Dallas, and other key markets.
Van load availability rose 11 percent while truck capacity fell 2.9 percent compared to the previous week. The resulting van load-to-truck ratio increased 14.3 percent, up from 1.7 to 2.0 loads per truck, meaning there were 2.0 available van loads for every van posted on the DAT network.
Refrigerated load volume increased by 2.7 percent and available capacity fell 5.5 percent. As a result, the national reefer load-to-truck ratio increased 8.7 percent from 4.3 to 4.6 loads per truck. The national average reefer rate was unchanged at $2.01 per mile compared to the previous week.
Flatbed load availability rose 3.1 percent and truck posts were down 7.9 percent, pushing the load-to-truck ratio for flatbeds up 12 percent to 11.5 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged at $2.03 per mile.
The national average price of diesel increased 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.com/Trendlines. DAT Trendlines is a weekly report on spot market freight availability, truck capacity, and rates.