The number of trucks on the spot truckload freight market didn't keep pace with demand from shippers wanting to move goods before the end of the first quarter and the start of Easter holidays, sending rates and load-to-truck ratios higher.
Capacity on DAT load boards fell 3.1 percent while the number of loads jumped 3.5 percent during the week ending March 31, which included Good Friday, when freight traffic is typically low. Van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios remained solid and the flatbed segment hit another record high.
- Flatbed ratio: 101.5 available loads per truck, up from 87.7 the previous week
- Van ratio: 7.2, up from 6.9
- Reefer ratio: 10.4, virtually unchanged from 10.5
National average rates held steady:
- Flatbed rate: $2.53/mile, up 1 cent
- Van rate: $2.15/mile, up 2 cents
- Reefer rate: $2.40/mile, unchanged for the fifth straight week
FLATBED OVERVIEW: After a 5.6 percent increase in load volume the previous week, flatbed freight availability jumped 7 percent while capacity fell 7.5 percent. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio increased 16 percent to 101.5 last week and has risen steadily since November, when it was as low as 26.
VAN OVERVIEW: The number of available van loads increased 1 percent while truck posts declined 3 percent. Spot rates were higher on 65 of DAT’s Top 100 van lanes, and the national average rate increased for the fifth consecutive week. Key van markets:
- Los Angeles: $2.32/mile, up 3 cents compared to the previous week. The average outbound rate has increased 5.2 percent over the past four weeks
- Dallas: $2.08/mile, up 5 cents
- Memphis: $2.68/mile, up 6 cents
REEFER OVERVIEW: Heading into Easter weekend, the number of reefer load posts dipped 1.2 percent while truck posts fell 2 percent. The national average rate was unchanged and rates were lower on 37 of the top 70 reefer lanes. Pricing from the Southeast and West show that shippers in the Southeast and West have produce to move, however:
- Miami-Baltimore, up 24 cents to $2.28/mile
- Los Angeles-Portland, Ore., up 21 cents to $2.96/mile
- McAllen, Texas-Elizabeth, N.J., up 20 cents to $2.64/mile, back to where the rate was three weeks ago
- Imperial Valley (Ontario, Calif.)-Chicago, up 29 cents to $2.14/mile