DAT: Truckload Volumes Remain Strong in March; Spot Rates Decline
DAT’s March Truckload Volume Index (TVI) for dry van freight was 305, up 23% compared to February; the refrigerated TVI was 206, a 13% increase. The flatbed TVI was 247, up 24% month over month. The increases reflect more loads moved last month and March having more shipping days compared to February.
Contract rates set records
The price to move van freight under contract increased
On the spot market, the national average van rate fell to
Spot truckload rates, negotiated as one-time transactions between a freight broker and carrier, incorporate a fuel surcharge. Removing the surcharge, the spot van rate fell
Supply of trucks outpaced demand
Spot rates remain well above year-ago levels, when the average price of fuel was
However, signaling that the supply of trucks on the spot market outpaced demand, the national average van load-to-truck ratio fell to 4.6, down from 7.3 in February, meaning there were 4.6 available loads for every van on the DAT network. The reefer load-to-truck ratio was 8.4, down from 13.7. The flatbed ratio increased from 83.9 to 89.8.
Why March was unique
“What made March unique is that shippers paid historically high prices to ensure that more of their loads moved under a longer-term contract, reducing their need for trucks on the spot market and causing rates to soften,” said
Small trucking companies and independent operators experienced significantly higher operating costs and lower revenues than they’ve become accustomed to over the past couple of years, said Adamo.
For more information about DAT iQ, go to dat.com/iQ.
About the DAT Truckload Volume Index
The DAT Truckload Volume Index is produced by DAT iQ and reflects the change in the number of van, refrigerated and flatbed loads moved under contract and the spot market with a pickup date during that month. Index numbers are normalized each month to accommodate any new data sources without distortion. Baseline of 100 equals the number of loads moved in
Rates are derived from RateView, DAT’s database of
About DAT Freight & Analytics
DAT Freight & Analytics operates DAT One, the largest truckload freight marketplace in
Founded in 1978, DAT is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Source: DAT Freight & Analytics