Rates on the spot freight market generally turned higher over the past week as freight availability continued it seasonal rebound.

The freight-matching service provider DAT Solutions reports the biggest increase on its network of load boards was in the van segment, 3.2%, pushing it up to an average of $1.94 per mile the first week of March compared to the final week of February. This is its best showing in the past four weeks with nearly all of this most recent increase coming from a hike in the linehaul rate.

The average reefer rate gained 2.4% for $2.16 per mile. Like vans, most of this increase was in the linehaul portion of the rate, rather than the fuel surcharge, also helping to boost it to its best showing out of the last four weeks.

In contrast, the average flatbed rate fell 0.5% to $2.12 per mile, the same level it has been three out of the last four weeks.

The overall improved performance was due 6.3% increase in the number of spot market loads available while spot market truck capacity drifted 5.9% lower.

Load-to-truck ratios in all three sectors improved, led by vans picking up 16%, as freight availability increased 12% while capacity in the sector fell 4.4%, meaning there were 3.7 van loads posted on DAT’s load board for every available van trailer.

The reefer truck ratio improved 15%, with 11 reefer loads posted for every available reefer trailer, as demand for reefer equipment increased 7% while reefer truck capacity dropped 7.3%.

Even the flatbed load-to-truck ratio increased by 12% to 14 loads available for every reefer trailer as load availability gained just 0.3% while capacity declined 11%.

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