Spring spot freight blooms to close out April

Spring spot freight blooms to close out April

Loads jump 9%, but rates unchanged on DAT load boards

The number of spot market loads jumped 9% during the final week of April, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Despite the higher demand for trucks and a 2% drop in available capacity, national average spot truckload rates were generally unchanged across all three equipment types. 

Spot market volumes increased significantly on the top 100 van lanes, in part due to a spillover from produce markets in the Southeast and parts of California. When reefer carriers are busy, they aren’t competing for van loads, DAT notes.

The van load-to-truck ratio increased from 1.4 to 1.6 compared to the previous week and the national average rate was unchanged for the third straight week at $1.50 per mile. Higher spot van rates in the southern states were offset by sagging prices in the Northeast and the Midwest. 

Demand for reefers heated up as the number of load posts increased 19% during the week ending April 30. Truck capacity declined 3% and the load-to-truck ratio rose from 2.6 to 3.2 loads per truck. The national average spot reefer rate was 1.79 per mile, up 1 cent.

In the flatbed market, spot load volume was up 4.5% while capacity declined 2% compared to the previous week. This led to an uptick in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio, from 19.8 to 21.1 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged at $1.90 per mile.

The national average diesel price rose another 7 cents to $2.27 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, according to DAT. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.

For complete national and regional reports on spot market freight availability, truck capacity, and rates, visit DAT Trendlines.

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