( File photo )

A slight surplus of trucks was reported in several U.S. shipping districts, but truck rates increased in California in early April.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s April 9 truck rate report said a slight surplus of trucks was reported in eastern North Carolina, Nogales, Ariz., south Texas and south Florida.

However, the report noted increasing rates of up to 6% for several districts in California, including Oxnard, the Central San Joaquin Valley, Santa Maria and Southern California.

DAT Solutions reported April 7 that spot truckload freight volume fell 2% during the week ending April 7, while a 9% increase in available capacity kept van and refrigerated rates from moving.

According to the DAT Solutions report, the increased supply of trucks was related to slow produce harvests, which have prompted reefer carriers to compete for spot van freight.

For refrigerated loads, DAT Solutions said pricing was volatile on individual lanes but the national average reefer rate was unchanged in early April. On the top 72 reefer lanes, rates on 36 were up, 33 were down, and three stayed the same, according to DAT. 

U.S. spot reefer volume fell 1% but expectations are increasing with spring weather, according to the report.