The average spot van rate on DAT load boards was unchanged at $2.01 per mile during the week ending November 1, 2014, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards (all figures include fuel surcharge).
This is the third straight week the average van rate has been unchanged. Van rates have been above $2.00 per mile for most of 2014.
The average reefer rate was down a penny (-0.4%) to $2.26 per mile, and the flatbed rate dropped 3 cents (-1.3%) to $2.35 per mile compared with the previous week.
Regionally, the average outbound van rate from Los Angeles CA increased 6 cents to $2.37 per mile due to continued port congestion and difficulty accessing rail services. Average van rates remain strong from Dallas TX ($1.82 per mile, down 1 cent), Columbus OH ($2.26 per mile, up 5 cents), and Atlanta GA ($2.03 per mile, up 3 cents). In the Northeast, the average rate from Buffalo NY jumped 8 cents to $2.11 per mile.
Overall demand for van, refrigerated, and flatbed loads on DAT load boards slipped 1.2%, and available capacity fell 4.4%.
The number of available van loads dropped 1.9% while capacity was off 0.9%. The van load-to-truck ratio held steady at 2.6, meaning there were 2.6 van loads posted for every van available on DAT load boards the week ending November 1.
Reefer freight availability dipped 0.4% and capacity fell 2.2%, which pushed the reefer load-to-truck ratio up 1.8% to 7.8 loads per truck. The number of flatbed loads declined 8.8% and available capacity slipped 2.0%, for a 6.9% drop in the load-to-truck ratio. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio stands at 17.9 loads per truck.
The national average fuel price receded 2 cents to $3.62 per gallon. Declining fuel prices tend to have a dampening effect on market rates. When fuel prices slip, the surcharge falls and the total rate may drop accordingly.
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.
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. RateView’s database is comprised of more than $24 billion in freight bills in more than 65,000 lanes.
For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, go to www.dat.com/Trendlines.