The number of loads on the DAT network of load boards increased 3.2% and load-to-truck ratios moved higher for all three equipment types during the week ending April 7, which caused rates to spike.

Capacity on DAT load boards fell 2.7% as there were also fewer available trucks.

This caused the national average van rate to jump 9 cents over the past week to $2.24 per mile. Flatbeds not only posted a slightly bigger gain, 10 cents, the national average of $2.63 per mile set a new record high on the DAT network. The national average reefer rate gained 8 cents, following it being unchanged for several weeks, coming in at $2.48 per mile. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

Load availability during the first week of April picked up where it left off in March. The number of loads posted last month was up 92% compared to March 2017 while the number of trucks posted was down 7%.

The number of available van loads increased 1% while truck posts declined 2% last week, which caused the van load-to-truck ratio to increase 3% to 7.4 loads per truck. Spot rates were higher on 52 of DAT’s Top 100 van lanes.

Key outbound van markets included:

  • Los Angeles: $2.36 per mile, up 6 cents
  • Houston: $2.21 per mile, up 4 cents
  • Columbus, Ohio: $2.78 per mile, up 8 cents

Flatbed load posts increased 6% and truck posts declined 3% last week and the flatbed load-to-truck ratio increased 9% to 111, the highest-ever weekly load-to-truck ratio in the DAT record books for any equipment type.

With 5% fewer trucks posted last week, the national load-to-truck ratio for reefers increased 6% to 11 loads per truck. Rates were up on 44 of DAT’s highest-volume reefer markets while 25 trended down. California reefer markets continue to strengthen, with the average outbound rate from Los Angeles up 11 cents to $2.90 per mile.