Fleet Management

Spot Market Freight Rates Hold Steady

February 05, 2014

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Recurring storms and strong month-end demand for capacity helped keep rates elevated on the spot truckload market during the week ending Feb. 1 compared to the previous seven days, according to a composite of the DAT network of load boards.

Nationally, the average spot rate for van freight was unchanged at $1.94 per mile, including fuel surcharge. Van-load volume increased 5.9%, rebounding slightly following a down week. Available capacity fell 6%, pushing the load-to-truck ratio to 4.1, up 13% compared to the prior week. Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on the DAT network of load boards.

The national average rate for flatbeds picked up 2 cents to $2.09 per mile while demand increased 7.2% and capacity was 11% tighter. The load-to-truck ratio increased 20% to 20.6 compared to 17.1 the prior week.

Demand for temperature-controlled units rebounded 7.8% last week while capacity lost 3.7%. The refrigerated load-to-truck ratio was 12.9, a 12% increase over the previous week. The national average rate for reefers held steady at $2.06 per mile.

Weather continues to play a role in the spot market. Ports were closed in Houston, New Orleans, Mobile, and Charleston, and key airports like Atlanta and Chicago shut down, with some of those flights carrying freight that off-loaded on to trucks, according to DAT.

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