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Spot truckload rates hold steady; prices inch higher

Spot truckload rates hold steady; prices inch higher

The national average spot truckload rates for reefer, van and flatbed freight remained steady for the week ending April 22, 2017, while prices in many major freight markets continued a slow springtime climb, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The number of available loads on DAT load boards jumped 10% compared with the previous week while capacity tightened 1.5%. Load-to-truck ratios increased for all three equipment types:

•Reefer ratio—6.7 loads per truck, up 2%

•Van ratio—3.6 loads per truck, up 11%

•Flatbed ratio—47.8 loads per truck, up 20%

Reefer trends—Reefer load posts held steady the week ending April 22 while truck posts declined 2%. One market where freight patterns are shifting: Florida. Volumes were down, and wildfires and evacuations made it more expensive to move freight:

—Miami FL–Boston MA reefer rates were up 23 cents to $2.14/mile

—Lakeland FL–Baltimore MD climbed 26 cents to $2.00/mile

The largest drop for the week ending April 22 was on the lane from Chicago IL–Philadelphia PA, which fell 23 cents to $2.37/mile.

Van trends—The national average van rate was unchanged and steady at $1.68/mile. Lanes with rising rates continue to outnumber falling lanes on a week-to-week basis, but not enough to bump up the national average.

The average rate on each of these lanes hit their highest marks in the past six weeks:

—Philadelphia–Boston jumped 27 cents to $3.34/mile

—Memphis TN–Columbus OH hit $1.89/mile, up 14 cents

—Dallas TX–Denver CO rose 11 cents to $1.94/mile

—Stockton CA–Seattle WA added 15 cents for $2.18/mile

Buffalo NY and Denver are the only markets where outbound rates are down more than 1% for the month.

The top five markets for van load posts were all in the South:

1—Atlanta GA, $1.94/mile, up 2 cents

2—Charlotte NC, $1.91/mile, down 1 cent

3—Houston TX, $1.66/mile, down 1 cent

4—Dallas, $1.64/mile, up 5 cents

5—Memphis, $1.95/mile, unchanged

Flatbed trends—The flatbed load-to-truck ratio surged 20% to 47.8 loads per truck. That’s the highest weekly flatbed load-to-truck ratio in years. Flatbed load posts advanced 14% while truck posts dropped 5%.

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.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, go to

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