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Spot truckload volumes stabilize as loads climb

Spot truckload volumes stabilize as loads climb

Spot truckload freight volumes stabilized during the week ending February 18, 2017, as the number of available loads increased 4% and capacity fell 1.2% compared with the previous week.

Load-to-truck ratios were up for each trailer type the week ending February 18, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards:

•Refrigerated—4.7, unchanged

•Van—2.5 loads per truck, up 4%

•Flatbed—26.9, up 9%. Flatbed load posts advanced 7% the week ending February 18 while truck posts declined 2%

Stronger ratios were not enough to propel national average spot rates higher versus the previous week:

•Reefer—$1.88/mile, down 1 cent

•Van—$1.62/mile, down 1 cent

•Flatbed—Unchanged at $1.96/mile

Several van lane rates fell due to an influx of reefer capacity: low demand in the reefer market had reefer carriers competing for van freight the week ending February 18.

Reefer trends—Load and truck posts gained less than 1% the week ending February 18, which kept the national load-to-truck ratio at 4.7.

Regionally, winter crops in Florida boosted outbound rates from Lakeland by more than 4% to an average of $1.40/mile. Warm weather also aided rates on lanes where some commodities suddenly needed protection from heat:

•Philadelphia PA–Boston MA paid 18 cents better on average at $3.46/mile

•Grand Rapids MI–Cleveland OH rose 29 cents to $3.31/mile

•Denver CO–Houston TX paid 16 cents better at $1.77/mile

Warmer weather had the opposite effect on lanes where some commodities suddenly didn’t need protection from freezing:

•Green Bay WI–Minneapolis MN was down 22 cents to $1.89/mile

•Grand Rapids–Philadelphia fell 18 cents to $2.70/mile

Van trends—The number of van load posts climbed 3% the week ending February 18 while van posts dipped 1%. While the national average van rate dropped 1 cent from the previous week, 46 of the top 100 van lanes had higher rates the week ending February 18 compared with 41 that paid less. Thirteen lanes were neutral.

Average outbound rates in major markets were mixed:

•Dallas TX, $1.49/mile, up 2 cents

•Atlanta GA, $1.83/mile, unchanged

•Philadelphia, $1.57/mile, up 2 cents

•Chicago IL, $1.93/mile, up 2 cents

•Los Angeles CA, $1.86/mile, down 2 cents

All reported rates include fuel surcharges. The average price of on-highway diesel edged up a penny to $2.57/gallon.

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.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, see

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