Spot truckload load volume was stable while national average van and refrigerated rates slipped during the week ending August 9, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
The overall number of loads posted declined 1% compared with the previous week while the number of available trucks increased slightly (0.2%). The overall load-to-truck ratio decreased 1.2% to 7.7 nationwide, meaning there were 7.7 loads posted for every truck available on DAT load boards during the week.
The national average van rate dropped 6 cents (-2.9%) to $2.00 per mile (including a 1-cent fuel surcharge decrease). Load availability rose 1.7% while posted capacity increased 1% for the week. The national van load-to-truck ratio remained at 3.1 loads per truck.
The national average reefer rate fell 9 cents (3.8%) to $2.26 per mile. The number of posted refrigerated loads climbed 4.3% and capacity was up 1.1% versus the previous week; the resulting refrigerated load-to-truck ratio was 9.2 loads per truck. Slowing volumes from central California are having an impact on rates, and other produce-heavy regions have yet to fill the void. However, rates for reefer loads remain 11 cents higher than in August 2013.
Flatbed rates inched up 1 cent (0.4%) unchanged as a national average at $2.45 per mile. Load availability fell 4.2% while capacity was virtually unchanged at plus-0.8%. The resulting load-to-truck ratio dipped 4.9% compared with the previous week, from 36.4 to 34.6 loads per truck.
The national average fuel price was $3.84 a gallon, down 1 cent from the previous week.
Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on DAT load boards. The load-to-truck ratio is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.
For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, go to