Winter season drives spot market rates down

| 1/21/2015

Indicative of a slower winter season, truckload capacity and freight rates went down for all three modes for the week ending Jan. 17 compared with the prior week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

Van rates declined by 3 cents to $1.98, dipping below $2 for the first time since May 2014. Los Angeles and Chicago experienced rates as high as $2.12 and $2.20, respectively. Rates for the month of December are up 7.2 percent from last year. Load-to-truck ratios went down 20 percent to 3.1 loads per truck. Several northwestern states – including Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana – had a load-to-truck ratio greater than 5.5.

Reefer rates lost 6 cents to $2.29 compared with the previous week. Green Bay rates were as high as $3.09, whereas Lakeland, Fla., had low rates of $1.71. Compared with last December, reefer rates are up 14 percent. Load-to-truck ratios decreased by 24 percent to 10.1 from 13.4 in the previous week. Most states west of the Mississippi River had ratios in excess of 12 loads per truck.

Flatbed rates went down 4 cents to $2.25. Harrisburg, Pa., had a high rate of $3.98. Phoenix marked a low rate of $1.85. Rates are down 0.9 percent for the month, but are up 5.5 percent in the last 12 months. There were 13.7 loads per truck for flatbeds, a 17 percent decrease from the last week. Ohio and New York were among a handful of states with higher ratios of 18 loads per truck or more. More than half of the states west of the Mississippi River have ratios of 18 loads per truck or more.

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