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Spot rates continue springtime thaw as loads climb

Spot rates continue springtime thaw as loads climb

The national average spot truckload rates for van, reefer, and flatbed freight held steady during the week ending April 22, while prices in many major freight markets continued a slow springtime climb, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The number of available loads on DAT load boards jumped 10% compared to the previous week while capacity tightened 1.5%. Load-to-truck ratios increased for all three equipment types: 

  • Van ratio: 3.6 loads per truck, up 11%
  • Reefer ratio: 6.7, up 2%
  • Flatbed ratio: 47.8, up 20%


The national average van rate was unchanged at steady at $1.68/mile. Lanes with rising rates continue to outnumber falling lanes on a week-to-week basis but not enough to bump up the national average.

The average rate on each of these lanes hit their highest marks in the last six weeks:

  • Philadelphia-Boston jumped up 27 cents to $3.34/mile
  • Memphis-Columbus hit $1.89/mile, up 14 cents
  • Dallas-Denver rose 11 cents to $1.94/mile
  • Stockton-Seattle added 15 cents for $2.18/mile 

Buffalo and Denver are the only markets where outbound rates are down more than 1% for the month.

The top five markets for van load posts were all in the South:

  1. Atlanta, $1.94/mile, up 2 cents
  2. Charlotte, $1.91/mile, down 1 cent
  3. Houston, $1.66/mile, down 1 cent
  4. Dallas, $1.64/mile, up 5 cents
  5. Memphis, $1.95/mile, unchanged


Last week reefer load posts held steady while truck posts declined 2%. One market where freight patterns are shifting: Florida. Volumes were down and wildfires and evacuations made it more expensive to move freight:

  • Miami-Boston reefer rates were up 23 cents to $2.14/mile
  • Lakeland, Fla.-Baltimore climbed 26 cents to $2.00/mile

The largest drop last week was on the lane from Chicago-Philadelphia, which fell 23 cents to $2.37/mile.


The flatbed load-to-truck ratio jumped 20% to 47.8 loads per truck. That’s the highest weekly flatbed load-to-truck ratio in years. Flatbed load posts increased 14% while truck posts declined 5%.

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

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