“Spring appears to have (been) sprung,” notes DAT’s Ken Harper with this week’s spot market update. “Loads up, rates up, hyacinths too” in comparison to the previous week’s numbers, available in part via the report at this link:
In the last week (ending March 5), the number of available loads jumped 12 percent overall on DAT Load Boards. With capacity down almost 2 percent for the week, the national load-to-truck ratio rose to 3.5 loads per truck and national average van, reefer and flatbed freight rates all gained compared to the previous week.
The lane from the Windy City to Atlanta didn’t perform as well for reefers last week — vans, either, though there’s plenty of freight from Chicago to Atlanta. On rates, however, the return trip is much worse ($1.13/mile on average) than the outbound. Adding a higher-paying short run from Atlanta to Decatur, Ala., where a shortage of trucks is giving rates a boost, will put you on the road for an extra day, but $363 in added revenue may be worth the time spent, based on rate averages along those lanes.