Fleet Management

Spot Freight Rates Gain from a Year Ago, Mixed Compared to Last Week

March 05, 2014

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While the amount of freight that’s available on the spot market has increased over the past week rates are mixed, according to the freight matching service provider DAT.

Total available loads increased 6.5% Feb. 23 through March 1 compared to the previous seven days, while spot market capacity gained only 0.1%. Compared to January, February load availability grew by 8.8%, while it is 86% higher compared to February 2013

Rates for vans increased 0.5% for an average of $1.99 per mile, it’s best showing in the past four weeks. The average rate for February is 13% higher than the level from a year earlier.

In contrast, reefer rates fell by 0.5%, registering $2.10 per mile, its lowest level in the last four weeks. It is up 1.9% for February compared to the month before and is 8.8% higher than in February 2013.

The Flatbed average was unchanged over the past week at $2.10 per mile. The average rate added 1 cent during February compared to January, due to an increase in the average fuel surcharge, according to DAT. Compared to a year earlier, the February flatbed rate is just 2.4% higher.

During this latest weekly period load-to-truck ratios increased in all three categories compared to the previous seven days, with the biggest seen in the flatbed sector, adding 16%, while vans gained 5.3% and reefers increased 1.6%. When February is compared to January, load-to-truck ratios all had double-digit gains, while each category was up by 104% or more, compared to February 2013.

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