Spot truckload rates slip but remain strong

The number of available loads on the DAT network declined 1% during the week ending November 12, 2016. With available capacity up 5% compared with the previous week, national average load-to-truck ratios weakened: the refrigerated load-to-truck ratio dropped 5% to 6.4; the van ratio was down 3% to 2.7 available van loads per truck.

As a national average, spot truckload rates remain solid but gave back some of the previous week’s increases:

•Reefers—Off 2 cents to $1.95/mile

•Vans—Down 3 cents to $1.67/mile

•Flatbeds—Down 2 cents to $1.89/mile

Reefer trends—The number of reefer load posts declined 1.5% while truck posts increased 3.4%. Produce had an off week with several markets experiencing a large fall-off in volumes.

One area that bucked the trend: Southern Idaho, where potatoes and onions are rolling out ahead of Thanksgiving. Twin Falls was the number one market for reefer load posts the week ending November 12, and the load-to-truck ratio there surged to 33.4 loads per truck.

With peak apple season over in Michigan, rates dropped on lanes out of Grand Rapids. Apples will continue moving from storage locations throughout the winter, a reason the lane from Grand Rapids to Madison WI bounced back up to $2.37/mile.

Van trends—The two strongest markets for spot van loads remain out West: Los Angeles and Ontario CA. Los Angeles-Phoenix AZ paid the best average rate in the region at $2.77/mile, up 5 cents over the previous week.

Philadelphia saw the biggest average outbound rate increase thanks mostly to lanes to destinations in the Northeast. That includes Philadelphia PA-Boston MA, up 10 cents to $3.20/mile.

High van markets by region:

—West—Los Angeles, $2.08/mile, unchanged

—Midwest—Chicago IL, $2.09/mile, up 1 cent

—South Central—Dallas TX, $1.50/mile, down 2 cents

—Southeast—Memphis TN, $1.91/mile, up 1 cent

—Northeast—Buffalo NY, $1.93/mile, down 3 cents

Flatbed trends—Flatbed load posts declined 2% the week ending November 12, and truck posts rose 2%. The average rate fell for the second straight 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. The average price of on-highway diesel dropped another 3 cents to $2.44/gallon.

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

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