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Spot Rates Post Another Weekly Drop

October 21, 2015

By Evan Lockridge

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There seems to be no let-up when it comes to weekly declines for rates on spot truckload freight market, as the amount of available cargo has also moved lower.

DAT Solutions reports that based on its network of load boards, the number of posted loads on the spot truckload market fell 6.4% during the week ending Oct. 17 as available truck capacity increased 0.2%

Spot truckload rates fell 1 cent across all three equipment types despite a 1 cent increase in the average fuel surcharge. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.

The national average truckload van spot market rate dipped to $1.71 per mile. Average outbound rates were up slightly in Philadelphia and Buffalo, but prices trended downward elsewhere. For instance, Los Angeles was at $1.96 per mile, down 3 cents; Columbus, Ohio at $1.87, off 5 cents; and Atlanta $1.73, down 4 cents.

Van load availability was down 9.3% while truck moved up only 0.6%. The result was a 9.8% decline in the average van load-to-truck ratio falling, meaning there were 1.4 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.

The national average reefer rate was at a national average of $1.96 per mile as demand continues to decline. Reefer load availability fell 7.3% while truck capacity remained nearly unchanged, down just 0.2%. That led to a reefer load-to-truck ratio of 3.7, a 7.2% drop from the previous week.

Flatbed load availability dropped 4% and truck posts were down 1.6%, resulting in a 2.4% decline in the load-to-truck ratio as a national average. The ratio dropped from 10.6 to 10.3 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate was $2.00 per mile.

"Harvests in Idaho are down from their fall peak, but demand in the southern part of the state remains high. Expect volume to ramp up again as Thanksgiving approaches,” said DAT Analyst Peggy Dorf in the company’s blog. “The Hot State Map (below) for the week of Oct. 11-17 also shows favorable load-to-truck ratios in Oregon. This is due partly to strong seasonal demand in the Medford market area, known for its apple orchards.”

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