Truckload capacity has been tight all year, but that's eased gradually from the June peak, according to spot freight data.
 - Graphic courtesy DAT

Truckload capacity has been tight all year, but that's eased gradually from the June peak, according to spot freight data.

Graphic courtesy DAT

Spot truckload rates continued their seasonal decline during the week ending July 21, as the overall number of loads posted on DAT load boards fell 5.5% and capacity increased 1.3%.

National average rates declined for all three equipment types. The van rate fell 5 cents to $2.33/mile, the refrigerated rate dropped 5 cents to $2.70/mile, and the flatbed rate edged down 1 cent to $2.79/mile. Load-to-truck ratios also declined, a sign that historically tight truckload capacity is easing.

Van truck posts were up 2% compared to the previous week while the number of available van loads were virtually unchanged. The national van load-to-truck ratio fell slightly to 7.1.

The sharpest drops in average outbound van rates were in the Southeast, in Atlanta, Georgia; Memphis, Tennessee; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Several van lanes reflected this regional trend:

  • Atlanta to Charlotte: $3.15/mile, down 45 cents
  • Memphis to Charlotte: $2.65/mile, down 26 cents
  • Atlanta to Chicago: $2.12/mile, down 25 cents

Overall, rates moved higher on just 18 of DAT's Top 100 lanes. Seventy-six lanes were lower and six were neutral.

The number of reefer load posts on DAT load boards fell 7% while truck posts were unchanged compared to the previous week, which helped send the reefer ratio down to 8.3 loads per truck. Falling national rates were due in part to lower volumes from California, where excessive summer heat has damaged avocados and other crops.

The national load-to-truck ratio for flatbeds fell for the sixth week in a row. Load posts were down 11% while truck posts were up 1%, which pushed the ratio down to 43 loads per truck. That’s roughly half the June average.

DAT Trendlines is generated using DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends.

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