Fleet Management

As Fuel Declines, Truckload Rates Remain Steady

October 02, 2014

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Graphic via DAT.
Graphic via DAT.

As fuel costs fell last week, truckload rates remained steady across all major equipment types, according to a report by DAT.

From Sept. 21-27, the price of gas fell two cents to a national average of $3.76. Diesel fuel is currently 17.2 cents cheaper than it was a year ago, which will have a dampening affect on market truckload rates, according the DAT.

Refrigerated freight spot rate averages were unchanged compared to the previous week at $2.33 per mile. Rates declined in Central California and the Midwest but gained strength in other areas because of late-season produce harvests. The reefer load-to-truck ratio was 8.8 due to a decline in reefer freight availability.

Flatbed rates were also unchanged at $2.39 per mile. Load availability declined 2.2% and capacity was stable, resulting in a 2.4% decline in load-to-truck ratio, which remains strong for the season at 29.3 loads per truck.

Dry van rates fell by one cent to $2.02 per mile but remained above $2.00 for the entire month. There was a ratio of 3 van loads per truck  which was a 3.6% decline from the previous week.

Load-to-truck ratios are a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity and changes to that number often signal impending changes in rates, according to DAT.

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