Rates on the spot freight market keep moving slowly downward as the amount of freight to haul edged just slightly higher by 0.1% overall over the past week.

New figures released by DAT Solutions, and based on its DAT network of load boards, show spot truckload rates fell an average of 1 cent a mile for van, refrigerated and flatbed loads during the week ending August 29 due to declining fuel surcharges.

Van load availability bounced back 3% after a loss the previous week while the number of available vans posted jumped 2%. After rounding, the load-to-truck ratio remained at 1.8 meaning there were that many van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.

The average van line-haul rate was unchanged but a 1-cent drop in the fuel surcharge sent the national average rate down to $1.75 per mile.

Refrigerated load volume rose another 2% as truck capacity edged down 0.7%, to boost the load-to-truck ratio from 4.7 to 4.9. The national average reefer rate dipped 0.5% to $2.03 per mile, continuing a pattern of declines.

Flatbed load availability fell another 4% while available capacity increased 5.5%. The national average flatbed load-to-truck ratio fell 9% to 9.5 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate slipped 0.5% to $2.06 per mile.

All this happened as national average price of diesel fell 5 cents to $2.51 per gallon last week.

The falloff in rates over the past few weeks is due to a typical season lull, according to DAT in its blog recently, but when rates will recover remains anyone’s guess.