The van and reefer load-to-truck ratios saw month-over-month (MoM) growth in May with the van ratio growing by 22% and the reefer ratio growing by 10%, according to DAT. The ratio can be used to measure demand in the spot market: the higher the number, the harder time a shipper will have finding a carrier.
Flatbed's load-to-truck ratio, meanwhile, was down 43% from April into May.
All three trucking modes saw decreases in their load-to-truck ratio compared to May 2018. Van was down 54% year-over-year (YoY), flatbed was down 85.7% YoY and reefers slid by 60%. The Electronic Logging Device mandate likely accounts for these large differences, according to Stephen Petit, a spokesperson for DAT. Enforcement of the mandate began last April, resulting in a temporary downturn in trucking capacity and an increase in the load-to-truck ratio.