Fleet Management

Spot Market Freight Rates Hardly Improve Over Previous Week

October 15, 2014

By Evan Lockridge

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Graphic: DAT
Graphic: DAT

Rates on the spot freight market gained little ground if any, according to the latest weekly roundup of activity from the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.

An increase in overall spot market truck capacity of 3.6% from Oct. 5 through Oct. 11 over the previous seven days, along with a 5% decline in the number of total spot market loads available, pulled the average flatbed rate down 0.8% to $2.40 per mile.

Van rates were unchanged at $2.03 per mile, where its been three out of the past four weeks, while reefers gained 0.4%, despite a slip in the fuel surcharge, registering $2.29 per mile.

Not surprisingly this was reflected in lower load-to-truck ratios with reefers giving up 12% for 8.7 loads for every truck during the period, as reefer truck capacity gained 3.4% while reefer freight availability fell 9%.

The van load-to-truck ratio fell 8.2% as van truckload capacity increased 3.4% and van freight availability declined 5%, putting its ratio at 3.1 loads for every truck.

The 6.9% drop in the flatbed load-to-truck ratio put it a 25.9 to 1, due to flatbed truck capacity increasing 4.7% while load availability fell 2.5%.

When last month is compared to August, freight rates were mixed with reefers reporting a gain of 2.2% while vans picked up 1% and flatbeds fell 2.1%. However, when September is compared to the same time in 2013, there were gains across the board, with the biggest coming from the reefer category, up 11%, while flatbeds and reefers had increases of 10% and 9.2%, respectively.

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