Executive Briefings

Spot Rates Dip as Capacity Exceeds Loads

National average spot truckload rates drifted downward amid weaker demand during the week ending April 18, 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 to the previous week. Overall, available capacity increased 4.1 percent while freight availability fell 2.1 percent, which helps to account for the falling rates.

In the van market, there were 2.8 percent fewer loads and 4.1 percent more trucks posted compared to the previous week. The national van load-to-truck ratio declined 6.6 percent from 3.1 to 2.9 loads per truck.

Flatbed load availability was steady (down 0.6 percent) while capacity gained 3.7 percent. The resulting flatbed load-to-truck ratio was down 5.4 percent from 22.3 to 21.1 flatbed loads per truck. Demand for reefers lost another 3.9 percent during the time period while reefer capacity added 3.7 percent. The reefer load-to-truck ratio slipped 7.3 percent 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.

Source: DAT

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 to the previous week. Overall, available capacity increased 4.1 percent while freight availability fell 2.1 percent, which helps to account for the falling rates.

In the van market, there were 2.8 percent fewer loads and 4.1 percent more trucks posted compared to the previous week. The national van load-to-truck ratio declined 6.6 percent from 3.1 to 2.9 loads per truck.

Flatbed load availability was steady (down 0.6 percent) while capacity gained 3.7 percent. The resulting flatbed load-to-truck ratio was down 5.4 percent from 22.3 to 21.1 flatbed loads per truck. Demand for reefers lost another 3.9 percent during the time period while reefer capacity added 3.7 percent. The reefer load-to-truck ratio slipped 7.3 percent 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.

Source: DAT