Spot flatbed rates continue to climb

The availability of spot truckload freight fell 10% while the number of trucks posted gained 7% during the week ending Oct. 14, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards. The combination of fewer loads and more available capacity helped send load-to-truck ratios lower compared to the previous week:

- Van: 5.4 available loads per truck, down 17%

- Flatbed: 40.9 loads per truck, down 12%

- Refrigerated: 10.1 loads per truck, down 19%

Spot flatbed load posts declined 7% and truck posts increased 6% as rebuilding efforts in Florida and the Gulf Coast continues to put pressure on the flatbed market. The national average spot flatbed price climbed again while van and reefer rates dipped:

- Van: $2.07/mile, down 2 cents but still relatively high

- Flatbed: $2.33/mile, up 2 cents to a new two-year high

- Reefer: $2.36/mile, down 1 cent

Spot van load posts declined 11% and truck posts increased 7%. Van rates moderated last week but the decline may be short-lived, with volumes surging in California and other Western states. The No. 1 market for van freight was Los Angeles, where the average rate jumped 4 cents to $2.41/mile. Rates were softer elsewhere:

- Columbus, Ohio: $2.62/mile, down 14 cents

- Buffalo: $2.56/mile, down 13 cents

- Dallas: $1.78/mile, down 1 cent

- Houston: $1.75/mile, unchanged

- Atlanta: $2.23/mile, down 6 cents

In the spot reefer market, load posts declined 13% and truck posts increased 7% from the previous week. Florida reefer volumes recovered last week but outbound rates were so low they actually contributed to a drop in the national average reefer rate.

Rates are derived from DAT® RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. All reported rates include fuel surcharges. For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit and join the conversation on Twitter with @LoadBoards.

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