Year Ends with Record Rates and Ratios

Posted: 04 Jan, 2018 by Pat Pitz


Categories: Freight Rates

Tags: BrokerCarrierOwner-OperatorShipper

2017 was quite a year. What started as a fairly normal year in truck transportation, ended with record freight rates and tightened capacity.

Below are a series of DAT graphics that visually tell the story of 2017, and how it compares with previous years.  

Rates Climb

The monthly average rate for vans was $1.67 per mile in January 2017, but by December the average rate increased to $2.11 per mile. That was the highest monthly average since at least 2010, when DAT established the freight rates database that forms the foundation of DAT RateView. Increased fuel costs were certainly a factor, but pressure from the exceptionally high demand on the spot market pushed prices skyward.


Capacity Tightens

One way of measuring supply and demand is by looking at load posts on DAT load boards vs. truck posts. This "load-to-truck ratio" is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates. The load-to-truck ratio for vans was 3.3 load postings for every truck posting in January. By December the ratio rose to 9.0, the highest monthly average since at least 2010. (See load-to-truck ratios each week in DAT Trendlines.)


Heat Maps Darken

Hot Market Maps and Hot States Maps, available to users of the DAT Power load board and DAT Rateview, tell the story of tightening capacity throughout the year. Shown below is the weekly Hot States Map at the end of Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. 



 See rates on 65,000 point-to-point lanes, with DAT RateView, or get rates in your load board, with DAT Power, and DAT TruckersEdge Pro.  



2017 in Review: Disruptions Drive Rates Up - See what four factors had the biggest influence on rates last year.

Top 10 Markets for Load Posts in 2017 - In 2016 there was only 1 market with more than 1 million van load posts. In 2017 there were 14.

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2017 - Find out which topics grabbed the attention of DAT readers in 2017.

Leave your comments

  • profile


    • 1/18/2018 1:43:14 PM

    Great time to open a Trucking company, and glad that trucks are finally making some good coin for all their hard work.

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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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