Reefer capacity demand jumps in year-end surge

Reefer capacity demand jumps in year-end surge

Demand for van and refrigerated capacity increased sharply on the spot market during the final week of 2015 and first two days of 2016, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The number of van load posts jumped 27% while truck posts dropped 28%. As a result, the van load-to-truck ratio rose 77% to 3.4, meaning there were 3.4 van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network. The national average van rate held steady at $1.71 per mile.

Reefer load posts soared 40% and truck posts declined 24%, sending the load-to-truck ratio up 83% to 9.6. The national average reefer rate advanced 2 cents to $1.95 per mile.

Flatbed load posts increased 7.8%, and truck posts fell 29%. The national load-to-truck ratio surged 51% to 11.4, while the national average flatbed rate added 1 cent to $1.92 per mile.

Diesel slipped another 3 cents to a national average of $2.21 per gallon.

For the month of December 2015, the national average van rate remained at $1.71 per mile compared with November despite a 3-cent decline in fuel surcharges. Compared with December 2014, December 2015’s rate was down 37 cents, which includes a 20-cent drop in the fuel surcharge.

The national average reefer rate was up 1 cent from November to $1.95 per mile, which is 41 cents lower  than December 2014. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged at $1.92 per mile. Year-over-year, the total rate was down 36 cents from the average rate in December 2014, including a 22-cent decline in the average fuel surcharge.

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, go to

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