Spot-market load availability gained 0.8 percent during the week ending Feb. 13 while capacity added 1.2 percent, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
With the national average diesel price falling below $2 per gallon, truckload rates on the spot market continued on a downward trend. Freight brokers usually quote a one-time price that includes both a line-haul portion and the fuel surcharge; declining fuel prices influence spot market rates significantly.
The number of van load posts declined 6 percent last week while truck posts increased 1 percent compared to the previous week. The van load-to-truck ratio fell 6 percent from 1.4 to 1.3 loads per truck, meaning there were 1.3 van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network. The national average van rate dropped 4 cents last week to $1.58 per mile.
Reefer load volume lost 7 percent and truck posts added 3 percent last week. As a result, the reefer load-to-truck ratio fell 9 percent from 3.4 to 3.1 loads per truck. The national average reefer rate held steady at $1.85 per mile. Flatbed load volume was up 10 percent while capacity increased less than 1 percent. Despite a 10 percent increase in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio (from 8.7 to 9.6 loads per truck), the national average flatbed rate fell 2 cents last week to $1.83 per mile.
Average 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. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.
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.