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Flatbed Freight Drives Spot Market Volume Higher

| May 3, 2018


Spot freight market activity continued to build during the week ending April 28 as the number of loads on the DAT network of load boards increased 3.1% and truck posts rose 2.6%. National van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios dipped while the flatbed load-to-truck ratio exceeded 100 for the fifth straight week. 

Rates, however, showed little movement compared to the previous week:
Van: $2.16/mile, unchanged
Flatbed: $2.64/mile, up a penny
Reefer: $2.42/mile, unchanged
April spot truckload rates are all higher compared to March national averages. The average van rate is up 1 cent, the reefer rate is 2 cents higher, and the flatbed rate is up 12 cents. These rates include a surcharge portion that fluctuates with the price of fuel, which increased to a national average of $3.16/gallon last week.
VAN OVERVIEW: Van load posts declined 2% last week while truck posts increased 3%. That caused the van load-to-truck ratio to dip 5% to 6.1 loads per truck. Key markets:
Los Angeles: $2.35/mile, up just 1 cent on a 9.2% increase in volume
Seattle: $1.60/mile, up 3 cents with a 26.6% volume increase
Several bellwether van lanes reflected weaker rates:
Columbus, Ohio, to Buffalo: $3.78/mile, down 30 cents but still one of the highest paying lanes into the Northeast
Philadelphia to Boston: $3.95/mile, down 9 cents
Atlanta to Lakeland, Fla.: $3.02/mile, unchanged although the return was up 4 cents to $1.23/mile
FLATBED OVERVIEW: The spot flatbed market continued to surge as Cleveland, Las Vegas, Jacksonville, and Fort Worth joined Houston as volume leaders last week. Nationally, flatbed load posts increased 6% while truck posts increased less than 1%; the load-to-truck ratio to increase 6% to 108 loads per truck as a result. Markets to watch:
Memphis, $3.54/mile, up 16 cents
Fort Worth, $2.38/mile, up 9 cents
Houston, $3.03/mile, unchanged
Las Vegas, $2.89/mile, up 19 cents

Category: Featured, General Update, News

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