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Spot Rates Fall as Available Truck Capacity Rises

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON THIS SITE Click Here To Read Entire Article

April 17, 2018

By Evan Lockridge

Spot truckload rates moderated during the week ending April 14 as more trucks returned to the marketplace. The number of trucks posted to the DAT Solutions network of load boards jumped 11% compared to the previous week while the number of loads fell almost 1%.

The national average rate for van and refrigerated freight declined from the previous week while the flatbed price held steady. All rates include fuel surcharges.

  • Van: $2.21 per mile, down 3 cents
  • Flatbed: $2.63 per mile, unchanged
  • Reefer: $2.44 per mile, down 4 cents

Van load posts decreased 1% and truck posts increased 1%, sending the van load-to-truck ratio 11% lower to 6.6 loads per truck. Overall, just 40 of DAT’s Top 100 van lanes recorded higher rates. Key van markets include:

  • Dallas at $2.05 per mile, down 2 cents but the number of available outbound loads increased 8.4%
  • Stockton, California, $2.03 per mile, up 3 cents on an 18% increase in freight volume
  • Los Angeles, $2.31 per mile, down 1 cent on a 4% decline in volume

Flatbed load posts increased 1% and truck posts gained 8% last week, causing the flatbed load-to-truck ratio to settle down 7% to 103 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate remains the highest flatbed rate recorded by DAT.

The national load-to-truck ratio for reefers dropped 15%, from 11 to 9.4 loads per truck as reefer load posts declined 6% and truck posts increased 11%.

Florida is entering peak produce season with the average reefer rate from Lakeland up 7 cents to $1.84 per mile. Cold weather has hampered California production but the Central Valley is picking up. At $2.49 per mile, the average refrigerated rate from Fresno rose 13 cents on higher demand.

Midwest volumes were lower but winter conditions drove up reefer rates on several lanes including:

  • Green Bay to Des Moines, $2.65 per mile, up 41 cents
  • Grand Rapids to Madison, $3.00 per mile, up 35 cents

During this period the national average cost of diesel fuel increased 1.9% from the previous week to $3.10 per gallon.

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