Fleet Management

Spot Market Freight and Rates Take a Big Dive

October 16, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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The amount of cargo to haul and rates paid for it on one of the nation's largest spot markets, has declined across the board during the most recent seven-day period.

New figures from DAT show total load availability fell 9.9% Oct. 6 through Oct.12, compared to the previous week.

Likewise, load-to-truck ratios also plummeted, with the biggest drops being recorded in the van and flatbed categories, each falling 22%, while it moved 16% lower for reefers.

Not surprisingly this had a negative effect on rates, with vans down 1.6% to an average of $1.89 per mile, while flatbeds fell even more, losing 5.9%, averaging $2.09 per mile and reefers declining 1.4% for $2.12 per mile.

According to DAT while van rates lost 3 cents off the national average rate last week, on top lanes, however, the drop was about 1.5 cents. At $1.41 for the line haul, the national rate remains 5 cents above the September average and is 15 cents higher than October 2012.

For flatbeds it notes after opening the month very strong, rates dropped 13 cents last week, but is down only 4 cents from the September average. A large decrease it says in military traffic could be a contributing factor.

Looking ahead to the holiday season DAT Analyst Mark Montague wrote in his blog that conditions are shaping up for strong freight demand.

“The first signal came at the end of September, just as the quarter ended, when I saw a spike in outbound rates from the Los Angeles market. That zip code cluster includes the Port of L.A. and the Port of Long Beach, the two busiest in the nation and the transit point for most Asian imports,” he wrote

 

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