The number of spot market loads jumped 9 percent during the final week of April, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. However, despite the higher demand for trucks and a 2 percent drop in available capacity, national average spot truckload rates were generally unchanged across all three equipment types during the week ending April 30:
Van: The van load-to-truck ratio increased from 1.4 to 1.6 compared to the previous week and the national average rate was unchanged for the third straight week at $1.50 per mile.
Refrigerated: The number of reefer load posts increased 19 percent. Truck capacity declined 3 percent and the load-to-truck ratio rose from 2.6 to 3.2 loads per truck. The national average spot reefer rate was $1.79 per mile, up 1 cent.
Flatbed: Spot load volume was up 4.5 percent while capacity declined 2 percent. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio rose from 19.8 to 21.1 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged at $1.90 per mile.
Key Trend: Volume exploded on the top 100 van lanes in part due to a spillover from produce markets in the Southeast and California; when reefer carriers are busy, they aren’t competing for van loads. Higher van rates in the South were offset by sagging rates in the Northeast and the Midwest.
For the month of April, load volume rose 9 percent for flatbeds and fell 9 percent for vans and reefers compared to March.
Meanwhile, the national average diesel price rose another 7 cents to $2.27 a gallon.
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.