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DAT Spot Truckload Rates, Jan 19 2019

Truckload capacity accelerates while spot rates slip

Truckload capacity continues to build in the first weeks of 2019, and national average spot rates for reefers, dry vans and flatbeds continue to decline.

In a typical seasonal slump, the number of trucks on the spot truckload freight market increased 7.4% while the number of loads dipped 10% during the week ending January 19, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

National average spot rates declined for the second straight week:

•Reefer— $2.37/mile, down 5 cents

•Van—$2.01/mile, down 4 cents

•Flatbed—$2.38/mile, down 4 cents

Reefer truck posts rose 5% while load posts fell 15% the week ending January 19, which caused the load-to-truck ratio to drop from 6.1 to 4.9 loads per truck. It’s been more than six months since the load-to-truck ratio has been below five loads per truck.

 Average spot rates were down on several key regional reefer lanes and major markets nationwide:

•Los Angeles—$2.92/mile, down 11 cents after an 18-cent decrease the previous week

•Atlanta—$2.56/mile, down 5 cents

•Lakeland FL—$1.46/mile, down 9 cents

•McAllen TX—$2.24/mile, down 7 cents

•Philadelphia—$2.90/mile, down 5 cents

•Chicago—$2.80/mile, down 14 cents after falling 13 cents the previous week

Van truck posts on DAT load boards gained 8% compared with the previous week, while load posts retreated 13%. That caused the van load-to-truck ratio to drop 19% from 4.6 to 3.7 loads per truck.

That’s the lowest van load-to-truck ratio in eight months.

The worst drops in rates in the past month have been from the West Coast, where average outbound spot rates from Los Angeles and Seattle are down double digits since December. This is not unexpected, as the threat of higher tariffs pushed higher ocean volumes to US shores during Q4 2018.

Flatbed load posts on DAT load boards was down 2% while truck posts climbed 13%. The national flatbed load-to-truck ratio fell from 25.1 to 21.7 loads per truck.

DAT Trendlines are generated using DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. The RateView database is comprised of more than $60 billion in freight payments. DAT load boards average 1.2 million load posts searched per business day.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit

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