Spot rates continue strong as activity accelerates

Spot rates continue strong as activity accelerates

Activity on the DAT network of load boards picked up after Thanksgiving, according to DAT Solutions, as available capacity jumped 11% and the number of posted loads increased 20% during the week ending December 6, 2014. The gains are typical of the first full week after a holiday.
The bigger storyline is the continued general strength of spot market rates.
Compared with the previous week, the national average van rate gained 5 cents to $2.10 per mile despite a 1-cent decline in the fuel surcharge. The average rate for flatbed loads increased 2 cents to $2.33 per mile while the refrigerated rate advanced 4 cents to $2.41.
Regionally, the average van rate from Los Angeles CA fell 12 cents to $2.46 per mile. The highest-paying van lane in the West was Los Angeles to Denver CO at $3.37 per mile, up 22 cents versus the previous week. Other high-paying markets by region:
•Buffalo NY, $2.16 per mile (down 16 cents)
•Memphis TN, $2.39 per mile (down 5 cents)
•Dallas TX, $1.81 per mile (down 6 cents)
•Chicago IL, $2.32 per mile (down 12 cents)
Van freight availability was up 9.6% for the week while available van capacity increased 7.6%. The national average load-to-truck ratio for vans rose 1.8%, from 4.4 to 4.5 loads per truck. That means there were 4.5 van loads posted for every van on DAT load boards the week ending December 6.
A 17% gain in demand for reefer capacity on the spot market, coupled with a 7.7% capacity increase, moved the refrigerated load-to-truck ratio up 8.9% from 11.6 to 12.6 loads per truck.
The average reefer rate from McAllen TX climbed 6 cents to $1.92 per mile. Other key regional markets reflected a downward rate trend, including Chicago (down 15 cents to an average of $3.21 per mile), Philadelphia PA (off 5 cents to $2.76 per mile), and Los Angeles (20 cents lower to $2.90 per mile).
Flatbed load availability surged 40% after a 28% decline during the Thanksgiving week. The number of available trucks increased 28%, which pushed the load-to-truck ratio up 8.9% to 18.2 loads per truck as a national average.
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.
The national average fuel price dropped 6 cents to $3.54 per gallon. Declining fuel prices tend to have a dampening effect on market rates. When fuel prices slip, the surcharge drops and the total rate may fall accordingly.
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

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