The number of available loads on the spot truckload market tumbled 6% and capacity was virtually unchanged (+0.5%) during the week ending May 16, 2015, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
Nationally, average spot rates held steady for flatbed and van freight. The spot reefer rate gained a penny on a 4.1% increase in reefer load posts as harvest activity continues to gain strength.
DAT reported that van freight availability declined 13.5% while posted truck capacity held firm (+0.4%) for the week ending May 16. The national van load-to-truck ratio fell 13.9% to 2.4, meaning there were 2.4 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.
While the national average van rate was unchanged at $1.85 per mile, key regional markets for vans showed strength: Los Angeles CA ($2.04 per mile, down 3 cents); Columbus OH ($1.92 per mile, unchanged); Dallas TX ($1.78 per mile, up 1 cent); Charlotte NC ($2.17 per mile, up 2 cents); and Buffalo NY ($2.05 per mile, up 4 cents).
The number of available reefer loads rose 4.1% while available capacity added 2.1%, which pushed the national reefer load-to-truck ratio up 1.9% to 6.0 loads per truck.
Reefer rates and demand are climbing in Florida, southern Texas, and parts of California as harvests are in full swing. The average outbound rate from McAllen TX gained 10 cents to $2.09 per mile, while in Florida the average rate from Lakeland jumped 28 cents to $2.56 per mile and the Miami rate was up 5 cents to $2.87.
For flatbeds, the national average rate held firm at $2.18 per mile. Flatbed load availability dipped 3.4% while available capacity was generally unchanged (+0.7%.) The resulting load-to-truck ratio dropped 4.0% to 19.8 flatbed loads per truck.
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. For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, access www.dat.com/Trendlines.