Top 10 Markets for Load Posts in 2017

Posted: 28 Dec, 2017 by Matt Sullivan


Categories: Trucking Industry Trends

Tags: CarrierBrokerOwner-Operator

When we declared that the freight recession was over back in January of 2017, we expected it to be a bounce-back year for the trucking industry. What we didn’t anticipate was just how much demand would explode on the spot market. 

Each year we look at the top 10 markets for load posts on DAT load boards,  for each equipment type, to get a bird’s-eye view of how the markets shift from one year to the next. What immediately jumps out for 2017 is just how much freight there was.  

Million-Load Markets: 14 in 2017, Up From 1 in 2016

In 2016, Atlanta was the only market with more than 1 million van load posts. There were 14 markets with more than 1 million van load posts in 2017, and Atlanta became the first market ever to crack the 2 million mark. 

And 2017 is closing the year even stronger than it started, with load counts as high as or higher than they’ve ever been for many markets in December.


These markets "fell" out of the top 10 from last year, but all of them had more load posts in 2017 when compared to 2016.

Van: Los Angeles load posts were up 58% from 2016, but it still went from number no. 7 in 2016 to no. 15 in 2017. Elizabeth, NJ (no. 9 in 2016) was no. 13.

Reefer: Los Angeles was 11th in reefer load posts in 2017, down from 7th the year before, though load posts were up 62%. Grand Rapids, MI went from no. 8 in 2016 to 12th in 2017.

Flatbed: Spokane, WA went from 10th in 2016 to no. 17, but flatbed load posts there were up 53%. 

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Leave your comments

  • profile


    • 1/2/2018 8:45:29 AM

    Of course no one can predict with certainty because of so man variables, but I expect 2018 to blow 2017 'out of the water'. By midsummer the ELD mandate will have teeth and force rates much higher. Brokers have relied on an endless of supply of rouge carriers violating the hours of service laws for too long. This is now coming to an end. Add to this the boom in freight, and "the mother of all truck shortages" will finally be upon us. I also expect this to have a major impact on brokers, who have always sold their services to shippers as being a "carrier" and then sold the shipper's freight to REAL carriers as their own freight. When the truck shortage hits hard, ask the brokers what they charge to BROKER you a deal with the shipper. Carriers should set rates, NOT brokers representing themselves as carriers and legally insulating themselves with their broker licence. Brokers should be forced to disclose their "fee" (the cost of their service), like licensed brokers are required to do in other industries. That way you have brokers competing against brokers on price and not brokers competing against carriers. That would be called a free market.

    Reply 4 comments
  • profile

    John Carlos Calvo

    • 1/2/2018 3:12:14 PM

    Mike, I agree completely. I believe brokers are the #1 reason why rates are so low. They simply take too big a piece of the pie. Instead of taking the traditional 10%, some brokers are taking advantage of the desperate and the ignorant and charging up to 50%. The poor souls have no choice sometimes, because they have mouths to feed and bills to pay. It's a DISGRACE. And no one does anything about it. Not OOIDA, not the lawmakers.

    Reply 4 comments
  • profile


    • 2/5/2018 10:25:26 AM

    The reality is that there are companies who do not want to deal with qualifying carriers and dealing with dispatchers etc. etc. So, they rely on brokers to do what they don't want to do. There are a lot of brokers who overcharge but there are some brokers who are honest and give carriers a very good rate. I've found that it has carriers calling me for loads and they don't bail on the load at the last minute because they found a better rate. Normally I don't even have to post loads because I have a group of carriers (who do a great job) that I pay well who appreciate the fact that I don't low ball them. You typically reap what you sow.

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DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, news organizations and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 179 million freight matches in 2017, and a database of $45 billion of market transactions.

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