DAT Solutions: Mid-May rates ahead of April

Special to Land Line | 5/20/2016

The spot market giveth, the spot market taketh away.

Load volume dipped 4 percent last week and the number of available trucks climbed 12 percent during the week ending May 14, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the MembersEdge load board.

Last week’s van and reefer rates gave back much of the previous week’s gains, while flatbed rates were unchanged. Let’s take a closer look at the week that was:

Vans trend higher: At $1.54/mile, the national average van rate was down 3 cents compared to last week. But spot-market rates are still 4 cents higher than the average for April.

Van capacity expands: Demand for vans was stable (up 0.5 percent) but capacity on DAT load boards jumped 10 percent. The national average van load-to-truck ratio declined 8 percent to 1.6 loads per truck.

Go West: Los Angeles held the top spot last week for van load volume, and LA-outbound rates have made big gains in the past month and now pay an average of $1.91/mile.

The West’s best-paying lane? Los Angeles to Phoenix at $2.29/mile.

Florida falls: Florida’s produce season is past its peak. Reefer rates are down sharply on key lanes:

  • Miami to Atlanta down 49 cents to $1.69/mile
  • Miami to Elizabeth, N.J., off 36 cents to $1.79/mile
  • Lakeland to Charlotte lost 45 cents to $1.80/mile

Carriers who couldn’t find a profitable load out of Miami looked to Central Florida: Reefer volumes were up in Lakeland, where the average outbound rate was $1.83/mile.

Reefer risers: As patterns shift away from Florida, reefer rates in Philly bounced back, up 8 cents to $2.29/mile. The lane to Boston added 17 cents to hit $3.35/mile. Volumes were up in McAllen, Texas, while rates rose in Nogales, Ariz., and Fresno. The load-to-truck ratio for the Tucson/Nogales market hit 18.1 loads per truck on DAT MembersEdge last week.

Flats fall 6 percent: There were 6 percent fewer flatbed loads and 21 percent more posted trucks last week. That led to a 22 percent decline in the load-to-truck ratio, from 18.8 to 14.7 loads per truck. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged compared to the previous week at $1.91/mile. 

Get the latest rate trends at DAT.com/Trendlines or join the conversation on Twitter with @LoadBoards. Look for more information about load availability and rates at OOIDA’s MyMembersEdge.com, and listen in each Wednesday to Land Line Now for more talk about where to find profitable freight.

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