It's been an unprecedented year on the spot market so far. In 2018, we've seen record volumes and record prices, with the national average rates for each trailer type setting all-time highs in June.
Red-hot demand and tight truck load capacity has led to a super-charged spot market. The DAT load board is the largest on-demand truck load freight exchange in North America, and load posts by freight brokers and shippers are on pace to shatter even more records this year.
For example, at the end of 2017, we noted that Atlanta became the first market to crack 2 million for outbound van load posts. This year there are 10 markets on pace to break the 2 million mark.
DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 270 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $57 billion in real transactions.
Before 2017, Atlanta had traditionally been the only market to hit 1 million van load posts annually. Last year, 10 markets hit that number. In 2018, we could see as many as 35 markets with at least 1 million van load posts.
Below are this year's top 10 markets for van load posts through June, plus where each market ranked at the end of 2017. Aside from Houston, Dallas, and Chicago, every market on the list either held onto its spot or moved up the rankings. Allentown, PA, and Richmond, VA, replaced Indianapolis and Buffalo, NY, in the top 10.
The biggest jump has been Richmond, which ranked 25th in outbound van load posts last year. That's largely a market for short haul freight, with about 57% of the outbound freight posted going to destinations within 300 miles of Richmond.