The DAT North American Freight Index climbed 47 percent in March, the first month-over-month increase of the year as shippers ramped up freight activity, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the industry’s largest on-demand freight exchange.
Flatbed load posts rose 45 percent while truck posts increased 6 percent compared to February. That pushed the flatbed load-to-truck ratio up 38 percent to 36.6, meaning there were 36.6 available flatbed loads for each truck on the DAT network, which is a 109 percent gain over March 2016.
A flatbed load-to-truck ratio of 18 is considered very favorable for carriers, and the average flatbed rate gained 6 cents to $2.03 per mile.
Van load posts increased 47 percent and truck posts rose 13 percent in March compared to February, for a national average van load-to-truck ratio of 3.2, which is below the 5.5 ratio favoring carriers.
Reference rates are the averages, by equipment type, based on $33 billion of actual transactions between freight brokers and carriers, as recorded in DAT RateView. Beginning in January 2015, the DAT Freight Index was rebased so that 100 on the Index represents the average monthly volume in the year 2000. Additional trends and analysis are available at DAT Trendlines.