The number of available spot market loads gained 12 percent during the week ending March 5, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. Available capacity slipped 1.9 percent, which helped elevate national average van, reefer, and flatbed freight rates compared to the previous week.
The national load-to-truck ratio climbed to 3.5 loads per truck, meaning there were 3.5 loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.
The national average van rate increased 2 cents to $1.56 per mile as the number of van load posts increased 12 percent and capacity dipped 2 percent during the week. The van load-to-truck ratio rose from 1.4 to 1.6, and hot spots in the U.S. economy boosted small markets like Decatur, Ala.; Texarkana, Texas; and Rapid City, S.D.
Reefer load posts picked up 10 percent and volume was up markedly in big metro areas like Los Angeles and Dallas. The number of truck posts fell 2 percent nationwide, bumping the refrigerated load-to-truck ratio up 12 percent from 2.8 to 3.1. The national average reefer rate increased 1 cent to $1.80 per mile.
Flatbed load volume continued to gain, adding 13 percent, while capacity declined 4 percent. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio was up 18% to 14.8, and the national average flatbed rate gained 3 cents to $1.83 per mile.
The national average diesel price moved back up above $2 a gallon, gaining 3 cents to $2.02.
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.