DAT Reports First Weekly Load Posts Under 600,000 Since April 2020

At the end of February, the trucking spot market saw further decline, with load posts dropping to a new low since April 2020.

DAT Reports First Weekly Load Posts Under 600,000 Since April 2020
Photo by Sander Yigin / Unsplash

The trucking industry's spot market has been on a downward trend, with DAT reporting a significant dip in weekly load posts to 598,674, the lowest since the early days of the pandemic in April 2020. This 59% year-over-year decrease highlights the ongoing imbalance between the supply of trucks and freight demand.

Key Insights:

  • Week Ending Feb. 24: Weekly load posts dropped by 8.6% week-to-week.
  • Year-over-year, posts are down 59%.

Analysts note the persistence of carriers in the market, despite financial pressures from depreciated truck values and higher operational costs. Dean Croke of DAT suggests that a slow reduction in carrier numbers is likely, with demand shifts being a potential market changer.

  • Load-to-truck ratio is near pandemic lows at 1.02 loads per truck.

Stifel's Bruce Chan and Truckstop's Brent Hutto echo concerns about excess capacity and low spot rates, stressing the financial strain on owner-operators due to inflation and increased operating expenses. Despite a bleak short-term outlook, there's hope for market correction as supply aligns more closely with demand, potentially reinvigorating spot rates.

  • Spot rates near historic lows, pressured by inflation and operational costs.

Source: Transport Topics

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