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DAT Summary Shows Spot Load Availability at Unseasonable Highs

December 9, 2016 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Fleet Management, News
DAT Summary Shows Spot Load Availability at Unseasonable Highs

The DAT Trendline’s summary for the week ending Dec. 3 shows a continuation of unusually strong van and reefer volumes, with the spot van load-to-truck ratio the highest since June of 2014.

As expected, the number of available loads on the spot truckload freight market surged last week compared to the previous week, which was shortened by the Thanksgiving holiday.

Less expected was the unseasonably high number of loads posted to the DAT network of load boards during the week ending Dec. 3: a 64 percent jump in the number of available loads compared to a 13 percent increase in the number of posted trucks.

The spot van load-to-truck ratio is the highest since June 2014; the refrigerated ratio is at its highest since March 2015:

  • Van L/T: 4.7 (up 61 percent)
  • Reefer L/T: 8.2 (up 36 percent
  • Flatbed L/T: 18.8 (up 27 percent)

With demand on the upswing, rates rose across all three equipment types:

  • Vans: $1.74/mile, up 8 cents
  • Reefers: $1.96/mile, up 1 cent
  • Flatbeds: $1.91/mile, up 2 cents

Those rates include a fuel surcharge. The average price of on-highway diesel gained 2.4 percent compared to the previous week at $2.48/gallon.

Van Loads Soar: The number of van load posts soared 80 percent and truck posts increased 11 percent week over week. Spot van rates stayed strong in key regional markets:

  • Chicago, $2.09/mile, unchanged
  • Dallas, $1.57/mile, up 2 cents
  • Charlotte, $2.02/mile, up 5 cents
  • Buffalo, N.Y., $2.12/mile, up 10 cents
  • Los Angeles, $2.16/mile, down 3 cents

Reefers Cooling: Reefer load posts were up 49 percent last week and truck posts increased 9 percent. With holiday produce on the move, the national average rate for November was 6 cents higher than October’s average. But prices are now tailing off in produce markets:

  • Crops out of Green Bay are mostly finished and prices on some lanes fell hard. Green Bay-Joliet, Ill., was down 36 cents to $1.97/mile
  • Out of California, loads on the Ontario-Chicago lane paid 20 cents less last week at $1.71/mile, and Fresno-Boston slipped 17 cents to $1.91/mile
  • Miami rates slipped after big gains in the previous week. Miami-Boston fell 22 cents to $1.63/mile, and Miami-Elizabeth, N.J., dropped 21 cents to $1.47/mile.

Flatdecks Bounce Back: Flatbed demand bounced back after Thanksgiving with the number of flatbed load posts increasing 59 perfect and truck posts gaining 26 percent compared to the previous week.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which provides real-time reports on prevailing spot market and contract rates, as well as historical rate and capacity trends. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.