February Spot Market Truckload Rates and Volume Dip Seasonally

Spot market rates for van, refrigerated and flatbed freight slipped lower month over month, but continued to exceed 2017 levels. The national average spot van rate was $2.13 per mile in February, down 11 cents compared to January, but 52 cents higher than February 2017. At $2.42 per mile, the national average spot reefer rate was 22 cents lower month over month and 56 cents higher compared to February 2017. The spot rate for reefers exceeded the average contract rate, for the sixth consecutive month, indicating extraordinary pressure on reefer capacity nationwide. The national average flatbed spot rate was $2.36 per mile, 1 cent lower than the January peak, and 40 cents higher year over year. The spot rate for flatbeds matched the average contract rate in February. “We expect rates to rebound well before the end of March,” said DAT industry analyst Mark Montague. “The end of the month and quarter coincide with Easter weekend as well as the start of the full penalty phase of the Electronic Logging Device mandate on April 1.
Shippers will want to move freight ahead of these key dates, and the additional demand will intensify the strain on capacity, driving rates up.” Established in 1978, DAT operates a network of load boards serving intermediaries and carriers across North America. For more than a decade DAT has published its Freight Index, which is representative of the dynamic spot market. Referenced rates are the averages, by equipment type, based on $45 billion of actual transactions, as recorded in DAT RateView. Reference rates per mile include fuel surcharges, but not accessorials or other fees.
The DAT Freight Index reflects load posting volume on the DAT network of load boards, and 100 on the Index represents the average monthly volume in the year 2000. DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, news organizations and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 179 million freight matches in 2017, and a database of $45 billion of market transactions. Founded in 1978, DAT Solutions LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roper Technologies, a diversified technology company and constituent of the SP 500, Fortune 1000, and Russell 1000 indices.