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Spot volume surges—but so does capacity

Spot volume surges—but so does capacity

Spot truckload volumes increased 18% but a 34% jump in available capacity sent load-to-truck ratios (and rates) lower during the week ending Jan. 14, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

With more trucks in the marketplace during the first full week of the year, rates fell across the board:

  • Vans: $1.72/mile, down 5 cents
  • Reefers: $2.00/mile, down 3 cents
  • Flatbeds: $1.89/mile, down 3 cents

Those rates include a fuel surcharge. The average price of on-highway diesel slipped 1 cent to $2.59/gallon.



The number of available vans was up 36% compared to the previous week while van load posts rose more gradually at 14%. The van load-to-truck ratio slipped from 4.7 to 3.9 loads per truck, which is still unseasonably high for vans.

Spot van rates declined in many van markets, includes key regional hubs: 

  • Chicago, $2.10/mile, down 1 cent
  • Dallas, $1.57/mile, down 1 cent
  • Atlanta, $1.90/mile, down 6 cents
  • Philadelphia, $1.75/mile, unchanged
  • Los Angeles, $1.99/mile, down 6 cents



Reefer load posts increased 8% but the number of available reefers rose 27%. This helped push the reefer load-to-truck ratio down 15% to 9.1 reefer loads per truck.

While the national average reefer rate fell 3 cents last week, $2.00/mile is still a strong rate for mid-January. Prices were mixed on key produce lanes:

  • Rates were down in all major reefer markets in California last week as the state was hit by heavy rains in the lower elevations and heavy snow in the mountains. The average outbound rate from Los Angeles slipped 3 cents to $2.46/mile
  • Imports are driving more activity at McAllen, Texas, where the average outbound rate was $2.05/mile, up 4 cents. McAllen-Dallas was up 24 cents to $2.58/mile.
  • Lakeland, Fla., with an average rate of $1.38/mile, dipped 2 cents. Several outbound lanes fell, too, notably Lakeland-Charlotte, down 38 cents last week to $1.21/mile.



Flatbed demand bounced back with a 31% increase in available loads. Truck posts increased 38% compared to the previous week, sending the load-to-truck ratio down slightly to 27.1 loads per truck.

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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