Top 10 markets for truckload spot freight in 2019

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The spot market continued to grow in 2019, even when compared to a banner year like 2018. Truckload volumes grew significantly in 2019, but so did capacity. That kept prices well below the historic highs of 2018, but it did reshape some of the top markets we’re accustomed to seeing on these year-end lists.

It’s no secret that the digital age is transforming the trucking industry. And as the business landscape shifts, the supply chain reacts, and those shifts can be seen in the top truckload markets for spot shipments in 2019.

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While Atlanta continues to be the top origin for spot market dry van shipments, Ontario, CA, jumped into second place last year.

Ontario is a major warehousing market and a key cog in e-commerce supply chains. Also, a significant number of shipments from Ontario are shorthaul — another hallmark of shipments tied to e-commerce. In fact, if you only look at spot market shipments of fewer than 250 miles, Ontario was the top market in 2019.

On the reefer side, another California market did overtake Atlanta as the top destination for spot loads. Fresno edged past the longtime number-one, while three other California markets held places in the top 10.

Demand for flatbed freight was soft in 2019, and carriers felt that sting with lower rates for much of the year. Houston continued to be far and away the top outbound market, though, and Texas appeared in three of the top five markets.

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Jeff Hopper is the Chief Marketing Officer at DAT. In that role, he oversees the customer service department, which houses