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Spot Market Truckload Volume Sets Record in March, Big Demand for Flatbeds

| April 16, 2018

Flatbed

Spot truckload freight availability rebounded in March, to set a new 20-year record for the DAT North American Freight Index. The 38 percent increase in volume, year over year, was due largely to extraordinary demand for flatbed equipment to move industrial cargo for energy and construction.

Flatbed freight rates also set a record in March, at $2.53 per mile, including fuel. Flatbeds got a 16-cent increase month over month, and were paid a full 50 cents more than the average for March 2017.

Van rates rose 3 cents compared to February, and 52 cents year over year. Rates for refrigerated (“reefer”) cargo were down 1 cent at $2.40 per mile month over month, but reefer rates rose 53 cents compared to March 2017.

Rates continued to rise sharply through the first week in April, which is not typical after the close of a fiscal quarter. Van rates are on track to exceed their previous record high of $2.24 per mile, achieved in January, and flatbed rates continue to reach new heights, as well. Reefer rates are lagging, however, because spring produce harvests have not reached their peak.

“Economic growth, particularly in the energy sector, supports heightened demand for truckload transportation, and capacity is not keeping up with that demand,” said DAT industry analyst Mark Montague. “Unless something changes, we can expect rates to continue rising at least until the end of June.”

Category: Featured, General Update, News

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