DAT Solutions: Flurry of activity

Special to Land Line | Thursday, March 23, 2017

If you pulled your truck off the road to miss last week’s bad weather, you weren’t alone. Available capacity on DAT MembersEdge dipped 3.4 percent for the week ending March 18.

That didn’t stop shippers from trying to move freight.

The week began with a push to ship goods ahead of snow in the Midwest and Northeast. Shippers rushed to catch up once the roads were clear, and load-to-truck ratios rose for all three equipment types:

  • Van ratio: 3.4 loads per truck, up 23 percent to its highest point this year
  • Reefer ratio: 6.6, up 16 percent
  • Flatbed ratio: 37.4, up 5 percent

Overall, the number of available loads was 8 percent higher.

Rates lukewarm: As a national average only vans increased, gaining 1 cent to $1.64/mile. The reefer rate ($1.87/mile) and flatbed rate ($2.01/mile) were unchanged compared to the previous week.

East Coast blast: How did the storm affect rates in and out of East Coast markets? The average van rate gained 20 cents or more in one week on three lanes in the region:

  • Buffalo-Allentown, Pa., was up 22 cents to $2.80/mile
  • Allentown-Boston also paid 22 cents better at $3.19/mile
  • Philadelphia-Boston rose 21 cents to $3.27/mile

The average Allentown outbound rate added 9 cents to $1.93/mile, while Philadelphia averaged $1.59/mile, up a penny.

Turn up the reefer volume: Reefer load posts increased 16 percent while truck posts held steady. Regional rate leaders:

  • Green Bay: $2.63/mile, up 4 cents
  • McAllen, Texas: $2.08/mile, up 16 cents
  • Dallas: $1.73/mile, up 2 cents
  • Elizabeth, N.J.: $1.70/mile, up 6 cents

Laid back in California: A number of markets in the Southwest saw higher freight volumes and rates, led by Los Angeles ($2.27/mile, up 4 cents). But central California remains soft: in Fresno, volumes fell and the average rate fell 2 cents to $1.81/mile.

Houston hot: You won’t find any snow down in Houston. Freight volumes and rates continued to climb, and flatbed freight averaged $2.13/mile, up 3 cents. If you look at all load posts on the DAT network of load boards, with all trailer types combined, Houston is No. 1 so far in 2017.

Strong trends for flats: Outbound load volume held strong and steady while available capacity declined 5 percent. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio increased for the seventh week in a row.

Big swings: Some of the biggest flatbed rate swings were likely due to weather: 

  • Charlotte-Roanoke, Va., was up 37 cents to $2.95/mile
  • Harrisburg-Buffalo plunged 76 cents better to $2.44/mile
  • Cleveland-Grand Rapids, Mich., fell 67 cents to $2.27/mile 

And big regional flatbed markets were up and down:

  • Phoenix: $1.71/mile, up 9 cents
  • Rock Island, Ill.: $2.34/mile, down 15 cents
  • Houston: $2.13/mile, up 3 cents
  • Atlanta: $2.22/mile, down 7 cents
  • Harrisburg: $2.99/mile, down 15 cents

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.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit OOIDA’s MyMembersEdge.com load board, tune in to Land Line Now, and join the conversation on Twitter with @LoadBoards.

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