Van, refrigerated, and flatbed capacity on DAT load boards expanded 3.6% while available freight slipped 5.0% during the week ending October 11, 2014, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
Nationally, truckload spot market rates remained stable compared with the previous week. The average van rate was unchanged at $2.03 per mile (including fuel surcharge), while the average rate for refrigerated freight rose 1 cent to $2.29 per mile and the flatbed rate lost 2 cents to $2.40 per mile.
In key markets, spot van rates slipped but stayed strong out of Los Angeles CA ($2.24 per mile), Columbus OH ($2.33 per mile), Memphis TN ($2.41 per mile), and Buffalo NY ($2.33 per mile).
Looking at market demand, available van freight declined 5% while posted capacity increased 3.4%. The resulting van load-to-truck ratio was 3.1, meaning there were 3.1 van loads posted for every van available on DAT load boards.
Reefer freight availability declined 9.0% and capacity was up 3.4%, producing a reefer load-to-truck ratio of 8.7. Flatbed capacity added 4.7% and load availability fell 2.5%. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio is now 25.9 loads per truck.
The national average diesel price dipped three cents to $3.70 per gallon. Declining fuel prices tend to have a dampening effect on spot market rates. When fuel prices slip, the surcharge drops and the total rate may decline 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 consists 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, access www.dat.com/Trendlines.