The number of available loads on the spot market jumped 7.1% during the week ending April 1 as shippers worked to finish Q1 on a high note, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. 

Available truckload capacity fell 4.9% and load-to-truck ratios increased for all three equipment types:

Van ratio: 3.7 loads per truck, up 10%
Reefer ratio: 6.7, up 7%
Flatbed ratio: 40.6, up 14%

Rates stayed firm: the national average van rate was unchanged compared to the previous week while the reefer and flatbed rate both gained 1 cent a mile.

The week’s big story was the impact of the I-85 roadway fire and collapse in Atlanta. The busiest routes are southbound and less likely to be affected (freight going to and from the Carolinas and points Northeast account for only about 10% of Atlanta’s truck traffic). Atlanta van freight averaged $1.92/mile last week, up 2 cents compared to the previous week.

VAN TRENDS

The national average van rate remained at $1.63/mile. Sixty-two of the the top 100 van lanes paid better and 10 were neutral. Average outbound rates in key van markets:

Los Angeles, $1.89/mile, up 5 cents.
Chicago, $1.96/mile, up 3 cents
Houston, $1.65/mile, up 4 cents
Dallas, $1.60/mile, up 4 cents
Memphis, $1.95/mile, up 6 cents

REEFER TRENDS

The average spot reefer rate added a penny to $1.87/mile. California is active now as strawberry producers move goods to ahead of Easter. Average outbound rates increased 6 cents to $1.87/mile from Fresno and 4 cents to $2.28/mile from Los Angeles. Other reefer lanes to watch:

Green Bay-Wilmington, Del., $2.97/mile, up 10 cents
Atlanta-Lakeland, Fla., $2.62/mile, up 11 cents
Lakeland-Chicago, $1.28/mile, unchanged
Elizabeth, N.J..-Boston, $3.71/mile, up 5 cents

Fresno-Denver remains below summer pricing but the lane picked up 21 cents to $2.14/mile last week.

FLATBED TRENDS

The flatbed load-to-truck ratio added 14% as load posts increased 7% and truck posts decreased 6%. Demand continues to be strong and the national average rate added a penny to $2.03/mile.

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.

Get the latest rate trends at DAT.com