National average spot truckload rates continued to decline as the number of available loads slipped nearly 6 percent during the week ending Feb. 3, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
The number of truck posts increased 3 percent, which helped push dry van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios down to near mid-December levels, before the mandate on electronic logging devices took effect:
- Van: 6.9 available loads per truck
- Flatbed: 61.1 loads per truck
- Reefers: 10.2 loads per truck
National average rates dropped 3 cents for van freight ($2.23/mile), 8 cents for reefers ($2.59/mile), and 13 cents for flatbeds ($2.26/mile). The price of diesel rose again, with the national average up 1.6 cents to $3.09/gallon.
Heading into what is traditionally a slow month, the number of van loads posted declined 16 percent and truck posts rose 4 percent. Van rates fell in nearly every major market, although prices are higher than they were a year ago. Chicago’s outbound average had the sharpest decline last week, down 16 cents to $2.77/mile after a 15-cent drop the previous week. Elsewhere:
- Houston, $2.00/mile, down 6 cents
- Memphis, $2.54/mile, down 1 cent
- Los Angeles, $2.32/mile, down 9 cents
- Columbus, Ohio, $2.29/mile, down 8 cents
Reefer load posts fell 19 percent and truck posts increased 2 percent. Prices remain high even though rates on most high-traffic lanes were down. Long-haul lanes from the southern border took big steps back, including McAllen, Texas-Elizabeth, NJ. (down 51 cents to $2.76/mile) and Nogales, Arizona, to Brooklyn (down 79 cents to $2.43/mile).
Spot prices for flatbed freight remain solid amid improved demand for capacity. Load posts increased 13 percent and truck posts declined 2 percent; the 61.9 load-to-truck is the second highest flatbed load-to-truck ratio seen in years.
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. For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit dat.com/industry-trends/trendlines and join the conversation on Twitter with @LoadBoards.