The number of available spot market loads slipped 2% while posted capacity was flat during the week ending April 23, 2016, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
While demand for reefer capacity increased, especially in the Southeast where produce harvests are ramping up, load-to-truck ratios failed to show gains and average spot truckload rates offered no signs of a seasonal boost.
Reefer load posts gained 1% while truck posts decreased 1% the week ending April 23. As a result, the load-to-truck ratio was unchanged, holding at 2.6 loads per truck. The national average reefer rate held steady at $1.78 per mile.
In the van market, the load-to-truck ratio was unchanged compared with the previous week, rounding to 1.4 loads per truck on 4% lower volume. The national average van rate also remained the same at $1.50 a mile.
Regionally, van rates weakened or stayed the same in several key markets including Atlanta GA (unchanged at $1.64), Charlotte NC (down 2 cents to $1.74), Los Angeles CA ($1.83, unchanged), and Chicago IL (down 1 cent to $1.75).
Flatbed load volume dipped 1% and capacity added less than 1% the week ending April 23. That led to a 2% decline in the load-to-truck ratio, from 20.2 to 19.8 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate fell 1 cent per mile to $1.90 per mile.
The national average diesel price advanced 4 cents to $2.20 a gallon the week ending April 23, building on a 3-cent gain the previous week.
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.
Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck available on DAT load boards. The load-to-truck ratio is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.
For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, go to www.dat.com/Trendlines.