Freight availability on the spot truckload market jumped 12% while available capacity was unchanged (-0.1%) during the week ending March 28, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Nationally, the average van and refrigerated spot market rates were unchanged at $1.94 and $2.15 per mile respectively, while the average flatbed rate gained a penny to $2.19 per mile. 

Van rates out of Los Angeles added another 1 cent last week to $2.10 per mile with container traffic flowing more steadily through Southern California ports. The national average reefer rate picked up 2 cents to $2.56 per mile as the month and quarter draw to a close.


Flatbed markets remain strong, with load availability up 13% during the week, DAT noted. Capacity fell 7.3%, pushing the flatbed load-to-truck ratio up 21% from 16.4 to 19.9 loads per truck.

Demand for reefers was unchanged (up 0.3%) as reefer capacity tightened 3.9%. The reefer load-to-truck ratio rose 4.4% from 7.8 to 8.2 loads per truck.

Van freight availability surged 19% and capacity added 2.8%; the two metrics usually move in opposite directions. The national average van load-to-truck ratio increased 16% from 2.9 to 3.4 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, DAT says. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.

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. For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, visit dat.com/Trendlines. DAT Trendlines is a weekly report on spot market freight availability, truck capacity, and rates.