The number of loads on the spot truckload freight market surged 7.6% during the week ending March 3, 2018, as rates appear poised to rebound, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
Truck posts decreased 2%, which helped push load-to-truck ratios higher for all three trailer types:
•Reefer L/T ratio—10.6, up 15%
•Van L/T ratio—7.0 loads per truck, up 5%
•Flatbed L/T ratio—79.9, up 13%
The national average reefer rate fell 3 cents to $2.40/mile, but the number of available loads was 11% higher than the previous week and truck posts dropped 3%. Reefer load counts are roughly equal to where they were in mid-January.
After seven weeks of declines, the national average spot van rate was unchanged at $2.14/mile but rates rose on 66 of the top 100 van lanes. Van load posts increased 4% while truck posts dipped 1%. At 7.0 loads per truck, the van load-to-truck ratio is about three times higher than it was at this time in 2017.
Flatbed rates climbed 4 cents to $2.39/mile, an increase for the fourth straight week. Capacity continued to tighten and the load-to-truck ratio for flatbeds hit its highest point in years. Extremely strong markets include Atlanta GA, Birmingham AL, Memphis TN, Green Bay WI, and Cleveland OH. The national average rate is up 9 cents per mile in the first few days of March.
Capacity may tighten in the weeks ahead with the end of the first quarter coinciding with both Easter weekend and the April 1 end of the phase-in period for the ELD mandate.
The national average diesel price dropped another 1.5 cents to $2.99/gallon the week ending March 3.
DAT RateView provides real-time reports on spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends.
For more information, visit www.dat.com/trendlines.