SpotRates Photo: American Trucker

DAT: TL spot rates keep soaring

Capacity still extremely tight across TL sector, load board operator says.

DAT Solutions said the number of spot loads being posted to its network of load boards increased 3.2% during the week ending April 7, with load-to-truck ratios moving higher across the dry van, flatbed and refrigerated or “reefer” segments as well.

Capacity on DAT’s load boards fell 2.7%, helping push national average spot truckload rates higher, the firm noted:

  • Dry van: up 9 cents to $2.24 per mile
  • Flatbed: up 10 cents to $2.63 per mile, a new record high
  • Reefer: up 8 cents to $2.48 per mile.

Load availability during the first week of April picked up where it left off in March, DAT said, with number of loads posted in March up 92% compared to the same month in 2017, while the number of trucks posted dropped 7%.

Flatbed load posts increased 6% and truck posts declined 3% last week, pushing the flatbed load-to-truck ratio up 9%.

Meanwhile, the number of available dry van loads increased 1% last week while truck posts declined 2%, increasing the dry van load-to-truck ratio 3% to 7.4 loads per truck and sending spot rates higher in several key cities:

  • Los Angeles: up 6 cents to $2.36 per mile
  • Houston: up 4 cents to $2.21 per mile
  • Columbus, OH: up 8 cents to $2.78 per mile

In the reefer segment, with 5% fewer trucks posted last week, the national load-to-truck ratio jumped 6% to 11 loads per truck; helping push spot rates up on 44 of DAT’s highest-volume reefer markets, though spot rates on 25 key reefer lanes trended down. California reefer markets continue to strengthen, with the average outbound rate from Los Angeles up 11 cents to $2.90 per mile, DAT noted.

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