Flatbed spot rates continue to climb, DAT reports

Flatbed spot rates continue to climb, DAT reports

Spot truckload freight volumes stabilized during the week ending Feb. 18, as the number of available loads increased 4% and capacity fell 1.2% compared to the previous week, reports DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Load-to-truck ratios were up for each trailer type last week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards:

  • Van: 2.5 loads per truck, up 4%
  • Refrigerated: 4.7, unchanged
  • Flatbed: 26.9, up 9%. Flatbed load posts increased 7% last week while truck posts declined 2%

Stronger ratios were not enough to propel national average spot rates higher compared to the previous week:

  • Van: $1.62/mile, down 1 cent
  • Reefer: $1.88/mile, down 1 cent
  • Flatbed: Unchanged at $1.96/mile


The number of van load posts increased 3% last week while van posts dipped 1%. While the national average van rate fell 1 cent compared to the previous week, 46 of the top 100 van lanes had higher rates last week compared to 41 that paid less. Thirteen lanes were neutral. 

Average outbound rates in major markets were mixed:

  • Dallas, $1.49/mile, up 2 cents
  • Atlanta, $1.83/mile, unchanged
  • Philadelphia, $1.57/mile, up 2 cents
  • Chicago, $1.93/mile, up 2 cents
  • Los Angeles, $1.86/mile, down 2 cents

Several van lanes fell due to an influx of reefer capacity: low demand in the reefer market had reefer carriers competing for van freight last week.


Load and truck posts increased less than 1% last week, which kept the national load-to-truck ratio at 4.7.

Regionally, winter crops in Florida boosted outbound rates from Lakeland by more than 4% to an average of $1.40/mile. Warm weather also aided rates on lanes where some commodities suddenly needed protection from heat:

  • Philadelphia-Boston paid 18 cents better on average at $3.46/mile
  • Grand Rapids-Cleveland rose 29 cents to $3.31/mile
  • Denver-Houston paid 16 cents better at $1.77/mile

Warmer weather had the opposite effect on lanes where some commodities suddenly didn’t need protection from freezing:

  • Green Bay-Minneapolis was down 22 cents to $1.89/mile
  • Grand Rapids-Philadelphia fell 18 cents to $2.70/mile

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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