End of first quarter 2017 triggers truckload demand

End of first quarter 2017 triggers truckload demand

The number of available loads on the spot market jumped 7.1% during the week ending April 1, 2017, as shippers worked to finish the first quarter on a high note, said DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Available truckload capacity fell 4.9% and load-to-truck ratios increased for all three equipment types:

•Reefer ratio—6.7, up 7%

•Van ratio—3.7 loads per truck, up 10%

•Flatbed ratio—40.6, up 14%

Rates stayed firm. The national average van rate was unchanged compared with the previous week while the reefer and flatbed rate both gained 1 cent a mile.

The week’s big story was the impact of the Interstate 85 roadway fire and collapse in Atlanta GA. The busiest routes are southbound and less likely to be affected (freight going to and from the Carolinas and points Northeast account for only about 10% of Atlanta’s truck traffic). Atlanta van freight averaged $1.92/mile the week ending April 1, up 2 cents over the previous week.

Reefer trends—The average spot reefer rate added a penny to $1.87/mile. California is active now as strawberry producers move goods to ahead of Easter. Average outbound rates rose 6 cents to $1.87/mile from Fresno and 4 cents to $2.28/mile from Los Angeles. Other reefer lanes to watch:

•Green Bay WI–Wilmington DE, $2.97/mile, up 10 cents

•Atlanta–Lakeland FL, $2.62/mile, up 11 cents

•Lakeland–Chicago IL, $1.28/mile, unchanged

•Elizabeth NJ–Boston MA, $3.71/mile, up 5 cents

Fresno-Denver CO remains below summer pricing but the lane picked up 21 cents to $2.14/mile the week ending April 1.

Van trends—The national average van rate remained at $1.63/mile. Sixty-two of the the top 100 van lanes paid better and 10 were neutral. Average outbound rates in key van markets:

•Los Angeles, $1.89/mile, up 5 cents

•Chicago, $1.96/mile, up 3 cents

•Houston TX, $1.65/mile, up 4 cents

•Dallas TX, $1.60/mile, up 4 cents

•Memphis TN, $1.95/mile, up 6 cents

Flatbed trends—The flatbed load-to-truck ratio added 14% as load posts increased 7% and truck posts decreased 6%. Demand continues to be strong, and the national average rate added a penny to $2.03/mile.

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.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, go to www.dat.com/trendlines.

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