Loads rising, rates lagging: DAT

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PORTLAND, OR – The national average spot rates for vans and reefers increased just a penny in March, to a respective US $1.62 and $1.87 per mile, analysts at DAT have found.

The DAT North American Freight Index reported its first month-over-month increase this year as shippers ramped up freight activities, said the company, which operates an on-demand freight exchange.

“Rates rose in the last week of March, as shippers rushed freight out to end the quarter on a high note, but that was not enough to offset soft market conditions from early March,” said Don Thornton, senior vice president. Construction and energy sectors represented particularly strong demand for flatbed freight.

Flatbed load posts rose 45% over February. There were 36.6 available flatbed loads for each truck on the DAT network, representing a 109% gain over March 2016. The average flatbed rate rose six cents to $2.03 per mile.

Compared to February, van load posts were up 47%, while reefer loads were up 49%.

Rates continued to rise in the first week of April.

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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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