Atlanta Tops DAT List of Top 10 Markets to Find Spot Truckload Freight in 2020

Atlanta was the hottest place to find spot van and refrigerated truckload freight in 2020.

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Atlanta was the hottest place to find spot van and refrigerated truckload freight in 2020, according to DAT Freight & Analytics, which operates the largest electronic marketplace for spot truckload freight. A spot load is transactional freight not under contract that a shipper or broker makes available on the DAT network of load boards.

Atlanta topped the list as the market with the most available spot van and refrigerated loads. Houston was the No. 1 market for flatbed freight posts. The rankings are based on an analysis of more than 126 million freight matches and a database of $126 billion in transactions on the DAT network last year.

Because spot freight is unscheduled and not under contract, it is seen as a dynamic indicator of changes in the economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an explosion of spot market activity in 2020. In a normal year, 12 to 15% of all truckload shipments are transacted on the spot market. In 2020, that figure was nearly 23% as spot rates climbed to all-time highs.

Below are the top 10 markets for outbound truckload freight by equipment type in 2020. These calculations are based on spot market truckload shipments with lengths of haul of 250 miles or more.

Van markets

1. Atlanta

2. Dallas

3. Ontario, Calif.

4. Houston

5. Los Angeles

6. Columbus, Ohio

7. Charlotte

8. Memphis

9. Chicago

10. Joliet, Ill.

Refrigerated markets

1. Atlanta

2. Fresno, Calif.

3. Ontario, Calif.

4. San Francisco

5. Philadelphia

6. Los Angeles

7. Dallas

8. Joliet, Ill.

9. Elizabeth, N.J.

10. Chicago

Flatbed markets

1. Houston

2. Cleveland

3. Dallas

4. Fort Worth, Texas

5. Atlanta

6. Los Angeles

7. Pittsburgh

8. Oklahoma City

9. Chicago

10. Memphis