DAT: Flatbed spot rates keep climbing

DAT: Flatbed spot rates keep climbing

The national average spot rate for flatbed freight hit $1.96/mile during the week ending Feb. 11, the fourth straight week of increases and a 4-cent jump compared to the previous week, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The number of flatbed load posts rose 11% while truck posts declined 1%. This sent the flatbed load-to-truck ratio up 13% to 24.6 loads per truck nationally.

Average rates for spot van and refrigerated freight declined again, a typical pattern for January and February.

Overall, spot load postings on the DAT network increased 1.7% while the number of trucks gained 3.2%, indicating strong freight volumes and available capacity for this time of year.


The reefer load-to-truck ratio slipped from 5.2 to 4.7 loads per truck nationally as the number of posted reefer loads fell 7% and capacity decreased 5% last week. The average reefer rate edged down 2 cents to $1.89/mile.

The hot market for reefers: Miami, where there was a burst of potato shipments. The better-paying lanes out of Miami last week:

Miami-Elizabeth, N.J., surged 35 cents to $1.84/mile
Miami-Boston was up 33 cents to $1.99/mile
Miami-Atlanta added 33 cents to $1.66/mile

Volume also spiked out of Lakeland, Fla. It’s still too early for a seasonal surge of Florida produce, but the availability of more loads in Florida is a welcomed change compared to recent weeks.


The number of van load posts declined 6% last week while truck posts increased 3%. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to slip from 2.6 to 2.4 loads per truck. 

Despite the lower load-to-truck ratio, the volume of van freight rose 2.5% on the top 100 van lanes and is 2% higher than a month ago. This could a indicate a bottoming-out of van rates if volumes continue to climb.

The national average van rate fell 3 cents compared to the previous week and gave ground in many major markets:

Los Angeles, $1.88/mile, down 2 cents
Chicago, $1.92/mile, down 2 cents
Atlanta, $1.84/mile, down 1 cent
Philadelphia, $1.53/mile, down 6 cents
Dallas, $1.48/mile, down 1 cent

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.

Get the latest rate trends at DAT.com

TAGS: News
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