Spot market load availability climbs while rates retreat

Spot market load availability climbs while rates retreat

For the week ending August 15, 2015, van and reefer load availability increased for the third consecutive week but so did the availability of equipment. This contributed to lower national average spot market rates for van, refrigerated, and flatbed loads, reports DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The total number of loads posted on DAT load boards rose 2.5% during the week ending August 15, nearly matching the increase in the number of equipment posts (2.6%).

A balance of available loads and capacity generally means little movement on rates. Indeed, the national average van rate dropped 2 cents to $1.77 per mile as the van load-to-truck ratio fell 1.2% to 1.8, meaning there were 1.6 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network. Key markets including Los Angeles CA (down 5 cents to $2.02 per mile), Chicago IL (down 3 cents to $1.96), Dallas TX (off 3 cents to $1.70), and Atlanta GA (down 5 cents to $1.79) all saw declines in average outbound van rates.

In the reefer market, the national average spot truckload rate dipped 1 cent to $2.04 per mile. Load volume climbed 2.0% but lagged behind a 4.5% jump in equipment availability, which helped send the reefer load-to-truck ratio down 2.4% to 4.5 loads per truck.

Flatbed load availability recovered 3.7% the week ending August 15 and capacity declined 1.0%, pushing the flatbed load-to-truck ratio up 4.8% to 12.8 loads per truck. The national average rate for flatbeds dropped 8 cents to $2.07 per mile compared with the previous week, including a 1-cent drop in the fuel surcharge.

The national average price of diesel was unchanged at $2.62 per gallon. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck available on DAT load boards. The load-to-truck ratio is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.

For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, access www.dat.com/Trendlines.

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