The amount of freight available on the spot market has increased, but rates are doing anything but following in the same footsteps, hitting their lowest levels in at least four weeks.
The freight-matching service provider DAT released new figures showing a 10% increase in load availability the first week of February compared to the final week of last month.
Despite a 9.9% decline in spot market truck capacity during this time, average rates in the three major sectors all declined with the biggest happening with reefers, down 4.7% to $2.11 per mile. This also happened as the reefer load-to-truck ratio increased 23% to 7.1 loads per truck as demand for the equipment increased while capacity fell.
The average flatbed rate fell 3.2% to $2.14 per mile but its load-to-truck ratio gained 18% to 11.7 loads per truck, while the average van rate gave up 2.5% for $1.87 per mile as the load-to-truck ratio in the sector increased 24% to 2.5 loads per truck. Both flatbeds and vans saw increases in freight availability and declines in truck capacity while a majority of the decrease in the average van rate was due to a drop in the fuel surcharge.
Initial numbers also show when January is compared to December rates were down by 6.7% for vans, 3.5% lower for flatbeds and a 5.5% decline for reefers. However, the numbers are somewhat better when last month is compared to January 2013, with the average reefer rate up 8.3%, followed by a 5.7% increase for flatbeds, but vans were unchanged.