Spot truckload rates hold steady as diesel price dips

Spot truckload rates hold steady as diesel price dips

Spot truckload rates remained firm as overall load availability fell 5.5% during the week ending August 22, 2015, reports DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Refrigerated load volume increased 4.1% as the number of available trucks was unchanged week over week. The reefer load-to-truck ratio rose 4.1%, to 4.7 loads per truck, meaning there were 4.7 available reefer loads for every reefer truck posted on the DAT network. The national average spot rate for reefer loads held firm at a national average of $2.04 per mile.

In the van market, load availability declined 2.6% after three consecutive weeks of gains. The national average van rate dipped 1 cent to $1.76 per mile, continuing a seasonal slide. The number of van posts edged up 1.1% and pushed the load-to-truck ratio down 3.7%. After rounding, it remains at 1.8 van loads per truck.

Flatbed load availability fell 13% while available capacity gained 6.8%. The national average flatbed load-to-truck ratio dropped 19% to 10.4 loads per truck. The average spot flatbed rate was unchanged at $2.07 per mile.

Notably, the national average price of diesel decreased 6 cents to $2.56 per gallon the week ending August 22.

Cheaper fuel affects supply and demand. While it’s typical for spot market rates to climb when load posts are up—and load available has been up in recent weeks—truck posts have also been on the rise. With the cost of diesel low, there are more trucks on the road, which typically leads to looser truckload capacity and less pressure on rates.

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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