Spot Freight Availability Jumps While Rates Sit

September 05, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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Load availability on one of the nation’s largest spot freight markets shifted into high gear last week, but rates did not follow along.

Credit: DAT
Credit: DAT
DAT reports total spot market loads available increased 7.6% for August 25 through 31 compared to the previous seven days.

This resulted in load-to-truck ratios increasing 7.7% for vans, 8.6% for flatbeds and 13% for reefers.

Rates were unchanged during the same time, remaining at a per-mile average of $1.84 for vans, $2.11 for reefers and $2.19 for flatbeds.

When August is compared to July rates increased by an average of 1 cent per mile for vans, flatbeds declined 3 cents with reefers shedding 5 cents while fuel prices increased 1%.

Rates compared to August 2012 reflect 3.4% increase for vans, a 4.4% decline for flatbeds and a 0.5% increase for reefers while fuel prices increased 2%

Writing in DAT’s Freight Talk Blog, Analyst Mark Montague noted there are some areas of the country where reefers are in short supply to help transport overabundances of crops.

This includes many parts of California, where the grape harvest has hit a record high. “DAT sees strong evidence of constrained truck capacity in the Fresno market, where well over a thousand reefer loads were chasing fewer than 200 trucks yesterday (Tuesday), boosting the load-to-truck ratio to 6.5,” he wrote.

Also apples are in ample supply in several states such as Michigan, New York and Washington while potatoes are plentiful in not just Idaho but also Wisconsin, while there is a variety of produce in Delaware, eastern Virginia, New Jersey, Minnesota and Oregon.

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