Spot truckload rates continue soft as holiday freight begins moving

Spot truckload rates continue soft as holiday freight begins moving

Rates remained soft despite a 2.6% increase in the number of posted loads on the spot truckload market during the week ending October 31, 2015, according to DAT Solutions. The number of available trucks was virtually unchanged (-0.5%).

Van load availability jumped 8.4% as shippers begin to move holiday freight while truck capacity declined 2.2%. The load-to-truck ratio rose 11% to 1.5 loads per truck, meaning there were 1.5 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.

However, the national average truckload van spot market rate slipped to $1.71 per mile, down a penny compared with the previous week. Average outbound van rates fell in many key markets across the nation, including Los Angeles CA ($1.97 per mile, down 2 cents), Philadelphia PA ($1.72, off 4 cents), and Memphis TN ($1.96, down 2 cents). Chicago IL was a bright spot, with the average van rate rising 3 cents to $1.94 per mile.

The number of posted refrigerated loads held steady (up 0.5%) while truck posts dropped 1.7% compared with the previous week. The refrigerated load-to-truck ratio rose 2.3% to 3.6 loads per truck while the national average reefer rate fell 1 cent to $1.94 per mile.

Flatbed load availability held steady while flatbed truck posts increased 7.8%. The national load-to-truck ratio dropped 7.2% to 8.5 loads per truck, while the national average flatbed rate stayed at $2.00 per mile for the third week in a row.

The national average price of diesel declined 2 cents to $2.48 per gallon the week ending October 31. 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, go to www.dat.com/Trendlines.

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