Spot Market Rates Continue Drifting Down

February 4, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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Spot market freight rates and activity remained stuck in a seasonal lull during the final week of January, according to the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.

The number of spot market loads available fell 6.1% Jan. 25 through Jan. 31 compared to the previous week while spot market truck capacity increased by just 0.1%.

The average rate for flatbeds was unchanged during this time period at $2.21 per mile, though DAT described it as remaining relatively strong for this time of the year, despite an 8 cents drop over the past three weeks.

Reefers drifted lower by 1.3% for an average of $2.24 per mile. Compared to three weeks ago this is 11 cents less.

The average rate for vans declined by 1% to $1.94 per mile, with the drop evenly split between the fuel surcharge and linehaul portion of the rate. Over the past three weeks vans have given up 7 cents per mile.

This was accompanied by the load-to-truck ratio for flatbeds being unchanged at 10 loads per truck despite load availability falling 3.2% and capacity edging 0.2% higher in the sector.

Reefers posted an 11% drop in its load-to-truck radio, falling to 6.1 loads available per truck as demand for reefers fell and capacity in this segment increased. The van load-to-truck ratio fell 8.6% to only two loads for every truck as van freight availability fell 8.6% and capacity increased by 19%.

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