National average spot truckload rates drifted downward amid weaker demand during the week ending April 18, 2015, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
The average spot market rate fell 2 cents to $1.89 per mile for vans and 3 cents each for flatbeds ($2.20 per mile) and reefers ($2.12 per mile) compared with the previous week. Overall, available capacity increased 4.1% while freight availability fell 2.1% for the week ending April 18, which helps to account for the falling rates.
In the van market, there were 2.8% fewer loads and 4.1% more trucks posted versus the previous week. The national van load-to-truck ratio declined 6.6% from 3.1 to 2.9 loads per truck for the week ending April 18.
Flatbed load availability was steady (down 0.6%) while capacity gained 3.7%. The resulting flatbed load-to-truck ratio was off 5.4% from 22.3 to 21.1 flatbed loads per truck. Demand for reefers lost another 3.9% the week ending April 18 while reefer capacity added 3.7%. The reefer load-to-truck ratio slipped 7.3% from 6.3 to 5.9 loads per truck.
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.
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. For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, access www.dat.com/Trendlines.