The week ending April 2, 2016, saw an increase of 11 percent for spot market loads, according to DAT Solutions. Despite the jump, national average rates were flat for the week. Van loads rose an impressive 16 percent with a corresponding decrease of 6 percent in truck posts, resulting in a 23 percent increase in the load-to-truck ratio. Rates followed suit, but weakly, rising an average of one cent.
Month-to-month, posted van loads increased 29 percent in March, but truck posts also increased at a slower rate of 9 percent. The monthly change in the load-to-truck ratio was positive at 18 percent, moving from 1.4 to 1.6 loads per truck. The truck-to-load ratio for March was down 54 percent from March 2015. Loads posted for flatbeds were up 12 percent for the week, while capacity decreased 10 percent.
The resulting load-to-truck ratio rose 23 percent with a rate boost of four cents per mile. For the month, flatbed loads rose 66 percent, and capacity dropped 1 percent. The load-to-truck ratio for March was 68 percent higher than February at 17.5 loads per truck.
Year-over-year, the ratio was up 7 percent. Reefer load posts increased less than van and flatbed at 3 percent. The 2 percent decrease in truck posts yielded a small increase in the load-to-truck ratio from 3.1 to 3.2. Likewise, national average rates were flat at $1.82 cents per mile.
For the month, reefer loads rose 19 percent, but truck posts also increased by 12 percent. The load-to-truck ratio rose slightly from 3 to 3.1. Reefers were the only segment of the market that saw a year-over-year decline in loads per truck, with the ratio falling 65 percent.