DAT spot market freight rates the past four weeks. Graphic: DAT Solutions

DAT spot market freight rates the past four weeks. Graphic: DAT Solutions

Rates on the spot freight market appear to have stabilized following three straight weeks of declines with a hike in one sector, according to the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.

The average van rate added 0.5% for $1.87 per mile for the third week of February compared to a week earlier, but is still down 7 cents from three week ago.

Reefers and flatbed average rates were unchanged at $2.10 and $2.12 per mile, respectively. Compared to the final week of January, reefers are down 14 cents while flatbeds have registered a 9 cents decline.

A 1.2% increase in fuel prices during this most recent week either negated any improvement in rates or caused them to actually be lower.

The change from falling freight rates seen the past three weeks was due to a 8.6% increase in the number of spot market loads available to haul while spot market truck capacity fell 9%, resulting in improvements in load-to-truck ratios.

The reefer ratio increased 28% to 7.9 loads available per truck while vans saw a 27% improvement with 2.7 loads available per truck. The increase in the flatbed ratio was more moderate at just 2.8% with 11.4 loads available per truck.

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