Truckload rates are dangerously low for carriers

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COVID-19 has dealt a heavy blow to trucking companies. With large swaths of the economy closed, demand for truckload shipments has plummeted, and carriers have found themselves on the wrong side of a supply and demand imbalance.

To say that it’s not a carrier’s market out there right now is a mighty big understatement. And considering how difficult the previous 18 months were for carriers, the current situation is even more disheartening. This is when we were supposed to see a seasonal uptick in rates. It’s not a good market for brokerages either. The lack of freight has forced many to cut staff, and shippers are spending far less on transportation.

But when the economy finally does recover, it won’t happen without trucks, so DAT is doing what we can to support our customers and help transportation businesses weather this storm. We strive to provide the best access to the most opportunities in freight and do this by enabling the best load board network in the industry. While we facilitate this open marketplace, we also offer the most accurate data in the industry to help with tough business decisions, providing transparency into the freight markets for everyone from the biggest enterprises to single-truck owner-operators.

What is a load board?

Truck Inspector

The free market sets truckload rates. Our processes for collecting and sharing that market data are no different today in the midst of an unprecedented crisis than it was when we reported on historically high rates in 2018, or more recently in March when demand spiked as grocery store shelves were depleted. Unfortunately, the spike was all too brief once lockdown measures took effect and the economy grinded to a halt.

Resources for navigating this crisis

The DAT team has been working around the clock to create regular updates on this volatile situation, and you can subscribe to get COVID-19 market updates to see the latest forecasts from DAT iQ, as our predictive models react in real-time to what’s happening in the industry. We’re also broadcasting regular video updates on YouTube to help you stay on top of the latest developments in the marketplace.

And DAT customers can always call us at 800.551.8847, and we’ll help you look for a load to get you out of any kind of bind. We also offer load board tools like TriHaul specifically to help truckers find alternative routes that pay better rates.

If you have questions specific to your business, send them to and our DAT iQ analytics team will answer. If you reach out to that address, we’ll also provide the current rates on the top 50 lanes in the U.S. along with predictions through Ratecast, which we are providing for free during this crisis.

Stay safe out there, and thanks for all that you do to keep the country going.

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