Fleet Management

Spot Freight Rates Stable, Available Loads Drop

August 26, 2015

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Spot truckload rates, including fuel surcharges, remained nearly unchanged over the past week as overall load availability fell 5.5% during the week ending Aug. 22, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Refrigerated load volume increased 4.1% as the number of available trucks was unchanged. The reefer load-to-truck ratio rose 4.1% resulting in 4.7 available reefer loads for every reefer truck posted on the DAT network. The national average spot rate for reefer loads held at $2.04 per mile, but is down from $2.13 three weeks earlier.

In the van market, load availability declined 2.6% after three consecutive weekly gains. The national average van rate dipped 0.6% to $1.76 per mile, continuing a seasonal slide and compares to $1.82 per mile three weeks earlier. The number of van posts edged up 1.1% while the load-to-truck ratio remained at 1.8 van loads per truck.

Flatbed load availability fell 13% while available capacity increased 6.8%. The national average flatbed load-to-truck ratio dropped 19% to 10.4 loads per truck. The average spot flatbed rate was unchanged at $2.07 per mile, after hitting $2.15 per mile two weeks earlier.

While it’s typical for spot market rates to increase when load posts are up, and load available has been up in recent weeks, truck posts have also been on the rise, according to DAT. With the cost of diesel low, there are more trucks on the road, which typically leads to looser truckload capacity and less pressure on rates.

All this happened as national average price of diesel fell 6 cents to $2.56 per gallon last week. You can read more about how cheaper fuel is affecting the spot freight market in the DAT Blog.

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