Spot rates hold as demand slips

Spot rates hold as demand slips

The number of available loads on the spot truckload market fell 3.9% during the week ending August 6, while rates held steady despite a reduction in the average fuel surcharge, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The national average diesel price dipped another 3 cents to $2.32/gallon compared to the previous week, which led to a 1-cent fuel surcharge loss, the report notes.

Other highlights from the week:


Demand for reefer trucks was up as the back-to-school grocery season and late summer harvests both picked up steam. 

The national average spot reefer rate remained at $1.93/mile as the number of reefer load posts increased 4% while truck posts were unchanged. The reefer load-to-truck ratio was 5.3 loads per truck.

Northern reefer-freight markets are showing strength: rates jumped 14 cents to $1.80/mile out of Elizabeth, N.J., last week as fruit and vegetable harvests in rural New Jersey and Pennsylvania contributed to an increase in demand. Elsewhere, regional markets with highest average rates held steady compared to the previous week:

  • Southeast: Atlanta, $2.29/mile, up 3 cents
  • West: Los Angeles, $2.48/mile, up 2 cents
  • Midwest: Green Bay, $2.47/mile, up 2 cents
  • South Central: McAllen, Texas, $1.74/mile, down 3 cents


The number of van load posts decreased 2% last week while truck posts held steady. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to dip 2% to 2.7 loads per truck. 

At $1.64, the national average spot van rate was unchanged compared to the previous week. Van rates recovered 5 cents out of Chicago last week to $1.92/mile, and Columbus, Ohio, rates gained 2 cents to $1.81. Memphis added 3 cents to $1.87/mile, a positive sign for haulers of retail freight.


The number of flatbed load posts declined 10% last week while truck posts increased 1%. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to fall 11% to 12.8 loads per truck. 

The national average flatbed rate increased 1 cent to $1.93/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

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