Spot market loads climb 10% during final week of January

Spot market loads climb 10% during final week of January

Load-to-truck ratios on the spot truckload market got a bump during the week ending January 30, 2016, possibly due to pent-up demand after the previous week’s storms, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The total number of spot market loads increased 10% while available capacity fell 2.5% for the week.

On the van market, the number of load posts was up 13% while truck posts dropped 3%, leading to a 16% gain in the van load-to-truck ratio (1.7 loads per truck). The national average van rate was unchanged at $1.65 per mile.

The number of posted reefer loads rose 6% and truck posts declined 3%, leading to a 9% advance in the reefer load-to-truck ratio (3.8 loads per truck). Overall, the national average reefer rate dipped 1 cent to $1.88 per mile. Available flatbed load volume was up 11% while capacity increased 2%, yielding a 13% gain in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio to 8.3 loads per truck. The average flatbed rate was $1.85 per mile, down 2 cents compared with the previous week.

Diesel prices fell another 4 cents to a national average of $2.03 per gallon.

For the month of January, van load posts were down 14% compared with December 2015. Van posts fell 4%, which sent the average load-to-truck ratio from 2.1 to 1.9 loads per truck. Compared with January 2015, the ratio was down 32%.

Flatbed load posts rose 10% versus December and truck posts declined 4%. As a result, the load-to-truck ratio for the month climbed 14%, from 7.5 to 8.6 loads per truck. Compared with January 2015, the ratio was down 31%.

Reefer spot market load volume sunk 13% in January compared with December, and capacity was down 6%. The resulting load-to-truck ratio fell 8%, from 4.9 to 4.5 loads per truck. Compared with January 2015, the ratio fell 50%.

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. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

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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