According to data tracked by DAT Solutions, national average spot TL rates continued to decline as the number of available loads slipped nearly 6% during the week ending Feb. 3, while the number of trucks available to haul freight increased 3%.
That helped push dry van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios down to near mid-December, pre-electronic logging device (ELD) mandate levels, the firm noted:
- Dry van: 6.9 available loads per truck
- Flatbed: 61.1 loads per truck
- Reefers: 10.2 loads per truck
DAT added that national average TL spot rates dropped three cents for dry van freight to $2.23per mile, declined eight cents for refrigerated or “reefer” loaded to $2.59per mile, and dipped 13 cents for flatbed loads to $2.26 per mile.
Heading into what DAT described as a “traditionally a slow month,” the number of dry van loads posted declined 16% and truck posts rose 4%. Dry van TL spot rates fell in nearly every major market, the firm added, although prices are higher than they were a year ago.
Chicago’s outbound average had the sharpest decline last week, down 16 cents to $2.77 per mile, which follows a 15-cent drop from the previous week. Other spot rate declines for major city lanes included:
- Houston: down six cents to $2.00 per mile
- Memphis: down a penny to $2.54 per mile
- Los Angeles: down nine cents to $2.32 per mile
- Columbus, OH: down eight cents to $2.29 per mile
Reefer load posts fell 19% and truck posts increased 2%, DAT said, though prices remain high even though rates on most high-traffic lanes declined.
Long-haul lanes from the southern border took big steps back, the firm said, including McAllen, TX, to Elizabeth, NJ (down 51 cents to $2.76 per mile) and Nogales, AZ, to Brooklyn, NY (down 79 cents to $2.43 per mile).
Spot prices for flatbed freight, however, “remained solid “amid improved demand for capacity, DAT pointed out.
Spot load posts increased 13% and truck posts declined 2%; the 61.9 load-to-truck is the second highest flatbed load-to-truck ratio seen in years.