Rates on the spot market continue moving lower while truckload capacity jumped, the first indication of a more typical slow, winter freight season, according to the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.

Reefers posted the biggest decline, 2.6%, Jan. 11 through Jan. 17, compared to the previous seven days. It registered an average of $2.29 per mile, its second straight weekly drop. Most of this was due to a decline in the line haul portion of the rate.

Flatbeds gave up 1.7% for an average of $2.25 per mile, also its second consecutive weekly decline, while vans fell 1.5% for an average of $1.98 per mile, the first time it has been below the $2 level since May.

Leading to the rate declines was a 24% increase in spot market truck capacity while the number of available loads to haul fell 1% during the period.

This resulted in lower load-to-truck ratios in all three sectors. Reefers declined 24% to 10.1 loads per truck while vans fell 20% to 3.1 loads per truck, the latter still relatively strong for this time of the year, according to DAT. Flatbeds dropped 17% to 13.7 loads per truck.

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