DAT's tracking of spot market rates shows a slight increase in the last week of May. 
 -  Source: DAT Solutions

DAT's tracking of spot market rates shows a slight increase in the last week of May.

Source: DAT Solutions

National average spot market truckload rates moved slightly higher on the DAT Solutions network of load boards last week as both the number of posted loads and trucks also rose, amid signs of tighter capacity.

The number of available loads increased 1.3% and truck posts edged 2.2% higher for the week ending May 26 compared to the previous week.

The national average van rate was unchanged compared to the previous week while the reefer and flatbed rates both made slight gains.

  • Van: $2.15 per mile, unchanged
  • Flatbed: $2.73 per mile, up 1 cent
  • Reefer: $2.51 per mile, up 2 cents

Van load posts jumped 6% while truck posts increased 1%, which pushed the van load-to-truck ratio 5% higher to 7 to 1.

While the national average spot van rate held steady, there was upward movement on major lanes out of California and the Southeast and South Central regions, according to DAT.

Los Angeles outbound spot van freight averaged $2.67 per mile, up 13 cents compared to the previous week. Los Angeles to Denver climbed 27 cents to an average of $3.25 per mile.

Other hot van markets include:

  • Houston, $2.24 per mile, up 7 cents
  • Dallas, $2.12 per mile, up 7 cents
  • Memphis, $2.76 per mile, up 9 cents
  • Atlanta ($2.55 per mile, up 11 cents
  • Two van lanes worth watching are Houston to New Orleans, up 25 cents to $3.20 per mile, and Atlanta to Charlotte, up 29 cents to $3.36 per mile.

The flatbed load-to-truck ratio dipped to 89.9 to 1, which is still historically high. The number of flatbed load posts fell 4% while truck posts were up 4%. Flatbed rates can vary widely and last week was no exception.

Key lanes include:

  • Raleigh to Baltimore, $4.33 per mile, up 57 cents
  • Dallas to El Paso, $2.07 per mile, down 19 cents
  • Cleveland to Roanoke, Virginia, $4.25 per mile, up 20 cents
  • Las Vegas to Los Angeles, $3.93 per mile, up 77 cents.

The average flatbed rate from Las Vegas was $3.24 per mile, a 41-cent increase compared to the previous week.

According to DAT, Last week’s key markets were outside of Texas, which shows the diversification in the flatbed segment and that growth is not just I the energy sector. For instance, demand has been red hot out of Atlanta and the rest of Georgia. The load-to-truck ratio in Savannah hit 240 to 1 on May 25.

The number of reefer load posts was up 10% while truck posts rose 5%. As a result, the national load-to-truck ratio for reefers increased 5% to 9.7 to 1. Two weeks ago the ratio was even lower at 8.5 to 1.

Related: How Trucking Fleets Are Dealing With a Hot Flatbed Sector

About the author
Evan Lockridge

Evan Lockridge

Former Business Contributing Editor

Trucking journalist since 1990, in the news business since early ‘80s.

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