DAT Solutions: More freight. What about rates?

Special to Land Line | Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Did you find a load last week?

They were out there. The number of available loads on DAT MembersEdge jumped 7.1 percent during the week ending April 1 while truck posts declined 4.9 percent.

Load-to-truck ratios increased for all three equipment types:

  • Van ratio: 3.7 loads per truck, up 10 percent
  • Reefer ratio: 6.7, up 7 percent
  • Flatbed ratio: 40.6, up 14 percent

Great news. That’s typically what happens at the end of a quarter, when shippers push freight out the door.

What did more loads and fewer trucks mean for spot rates?

Not much. Let’s look at the trends:

Atlanta flames: The big story last week was the I-85 roadway fire and collapse in Atlanta. Freight going to and from the Carolinas and points to the Northeast will be most affected but account for only about 10 percent of Atlanta’s truck traffic. Atlanta van freight averaged $1.92/mile last week, up 2 cents compared to the previous week.

Van rates steady: The national average van rate held steady at $1.63/mile. On the top 100 van lanes last week, 62 paid better and 10 were neutral. Average outbound rates in key van markets:

  • Los Angeles, $1.89/mile, up 5 cents.
  • Chicago, $1.96/mile, up 3 cents
  • Houston, $1.65/mile, up 4 cents
  • Dallas, $1.60/mile, up 4 cents
  • Memphis, $1.95/mile, up 6 cents

Reefers up a tick: The average spot reefer rate added a penny to $1.87/mile.

Strawberry fields: Many of the most active markets were in California, especially strawberry regions as producers move goods to store shelves ahead of Easter. California ships 87 percent of the strawberries in the country. Average outbound rates increased 6 cents to $1.87/mile from Fresno and 4 cents per mile to $2.28/mile from Los Angeles.

Reefer lanes with gains:

  • Green Bay-Wilmington, Del., $2.97/mile, up 10 cents
  • Atlanta-Lakeland, Fla., $2.62/mile, up 11 cents
  • Lakeland-Chicago, $1.28/mile, unchanged
  • Elizabeth, N.J.-Boston, $3.71/mile, up 5 cents
  • Fresno-Denver is still well below summer pricing, but it picked up 21 cents to $2.14/mile last week

Flatbeds jump: The flatbed load-to-truck ratio jumped 14 percent as load posts increased 7 percent and truck posts decreased 6 percent compared to the previous week. Demand for flatbeds continues to be strong.

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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