Logistics Weekly

DAT Weekly Trendlines Report – Will Spot Rates Spring Ahead This Week?

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Week Ending March 9, 2019

We moved our clocks ahead this week and spring is just around the corner. Even though there’s snow in the forecast this week, it looks like spot market rates are already starting to thaw. We moved our clocks ahead this week and spring is just around the corner. 

National average rates hit bottom at the end of February and stayed there until now for the three major equipment categories. Compared to this time last year, when rates hit record highs due to the ELD mandate, today’s results seem closer to seasonal norms:

  • Dry van - $1.88 per mile, including fue
  • Reefer - $2.21
  • Flatbed - $2.34

Despite the seasonal lull, volumes remain strong compared to 2018. Activity is starting to ramp up on the West Coast, where imported goods are arriving again after the Chinese New Year hiatus. Ships from China arrived first in Seattle, the closest U.S. port, and it was the first market to benefit from the additional traffic. Rates in California are moving up now. 

Last week, outbound volume picked up in Dallas which had been unusually quiet. The Midwest is still stuck in neutral, but things should start to shake loose as retailers turn over their seasonal merchandise.  


Capacity was plentiful and load-to-truck ratios were low throughout much of the country last week. Demand appears to be poised for a rebound, however, and rates may have hit bottom for the season.

For more spot market freight trends, visit www.dat.com/trendlines.



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