Reefer, van load surge signals holiday shipments

Reefer, van load surge signals holiday shipments

Indicating the movement of holiday goods, the number of posted refrigerated and van loads on the spot truckload market increased during the week ending November 7, 2015, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The national average spot refrigerated freight rate was unchanged at $1.94 per mile as a 1-cent increase in the line-haul rate was offset by a 1-cent decline in the average fuel surcharge. Outbound rates rose in major markets in California and Florida, and reefer load availability climbed 7.1% while available capacity declined 1.2%. As a result, the reefer load-to-truck ratio rose 8.4% to 3.9 loads per truck, meaning there were 3.9 available refrigerated loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.

Van load availability was up 4.5% and the national average truckload van spot market rate showed its first gain in weeks, rising a penny to $1.72 per mile despite a 1-cent drop in the average fuel surcharge. The average van rate showed life in key markets including Los Angeles CA (up 2 cents to $1.99 per mile), Memphis TN ($2.04, up 7 cents), Chicago IL ($1.96, up 1 cent), and Columbus OH ($1.85, up 1 cent).

The van load-to-truck ratio rose 7.5% to 1.6 loads per truck but remains well behind the 2.8 mark at this time in 2014.

Flatbed load availability decreased 10.4% while flatbed truck posts sunk 5.9%. The national flatbed load-to-truck ratio dropped 4.8% to 8.1 loads per truck, while the national average flatbed rate fell 3 cents to $1.97 per mile.

The national average price of diesel rose 2 cents to $2.50 per gallon the week ending November 7. 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, see www.dat.com/Trendlines.

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