Spot truckload rates and load-to-truck ratios edged down on lower volume during the week ending March 26, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
The national load-to-truck ratio slipped from 3.8 to 3.7 loads per truck, meaning there were 3.7 available loads for every truck posted. The slight drop may be related to reduced traffic during the Good Friday holiday, DAT said.
Both the van and reefer markets experienced stagnant demand.
The number of van load posts dipped 1% and the national average van rate fell 2 cents to $1.56 per mile. Average outbound rates fell in several key markets, including Los Angeles (down 7 cents to $1.80 per mile), Chicago (off 5 cents to $1.70), and Philadelphia (2 cents lower to $1.65). Nationally, the van load-to-truck ratio was 1.6, unchanged from the previous week.
Reefer load posts fell 3% while truck posts added 3% for a reefer load-to-truck ratio of 3.1, down 6%. California, Texas, and southern Florida all experienced stronger seasonal volumes, outpacing slower markets elsewhere as the national average reefer rate fell a penny to $1.82 per mile.
Flatbed volume remained the same compared to the previous week and capacity increased 2%. The load-to-truck ratio dipped 2% while the national average flatbed rate was unchanged at $1.87 per mile.
The national average diesel price remained at $2.12 a gallon.
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, DAT notes. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.
DAT Trendlines is a weekly report on spot market freight availability, truck capacity, and rates.