Based on the past week’s numbers, DAT Solutions found spot rates to be neutral or declining because capacity pressure is continuing to ease.

DAT said the national average spot market rate for van loads slipped another 3 cents (1.5%) to $2.03 per mile during the week ending April 26.

Available van loads on the DAT network of load boards declined another 8.6% last week while capacity increased 1.7%.

That outcome brought the van load-to-truck ratio down 10% from 3.0 to 2.7. The company noted that load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on the DAT network of load boards. 

DAT pointed out that, overall, the van rate has declined for each of the past four weeks “as demand returns to a more typical, seasonal pattern. On the spot van market, for every available truck last week there were 2.7 available loads.”

As for key truckload van markets, the average outbound rate from Chicago lost 9 cents to $2.18 per mile; Columbus dropped 5 cents to $2.12 per mile; Memphis was down 6 cents to $2.40 per mile; and Buffalo fell 11 cents to $2.22 per mile.

Meanwhile, the average outbound van rate from Los Angeles gained 2 cents to $2.19 per mile, while the rate out of Stockton was unchanged at $2.05 per mile.

The national average rate for reefer loads held at $2.28 per mile-- that despite a 10% drop in volume on DAT load boards and 1.9% capacity gain. The refrigerated load-to-truck ratio fell 12%, from 8.9 to 7.8.

Regionally, reefer rates strengthened in California, where the average outbound rate from Fresno increased 11 cents to $2.38 per mile and Los Angeles increased 3 cents to $2.72 per mile.

In the flatbed spot market, the national average rate was unchanged at $2.35 per mile. “Capacity shrank 3% and the resulting load-to-truck ratio rose 2.8% from 37.5 to 38.5,” said DAT, “meaning that for each flatbed unit posted there are 38.5 available loads on the DAT network.”

Rates are derived from DAT RateView and the DAT Network of load boards.

Click here for DAT’s complete national and regional report on spot rates and demand.