DAT Solutions: Fuel pumps up spot rates

Special to Land Line | 6/1/2016

Nearly every market showed signs of improvement as the number of spot truckload freight posts was up 8.5 percent and available capacity was steady during the week ending May 28, reported DAT Solutions, which operates the MembersEdge load board.

Load-to-truck ratios highlight the trendlines:

  • Van L/T ratio: 1.9 loads per truck (up 16 percent)
  • Reefer: 4.1 (up 25 percent)
  • Flatbed: 14.2 (down 8 percent)

Let’s take a closer look:

Fuel price pressure: The national average diesel price rose another 2.5 cents to $2.38/gallon. That’s the national average. The average on the West Coast is $2.65/gallon, up 5 cents.

National average rates:

  • Van: $1.54/mile. Up a penny because of an increase in the fuel surcharge.
  • Reefer: $1.87/mile. No change.
  • Flatbed: $1.92/mile. Up 1 cent due to the fuel surcharge.

19 percent more reefer loads: The number of spot reefer loads increased 19 percent and available capacity fell 5 percent. The national average rate was unchanged despite a seasonal increase in demand.

Flatbed markets heat up: Flatbed load availability was virtually unchanged while capacity increased 8 percent last week. Every region has at least one hot market:

  • West: Los Angeles, $2.40/mile, up 6 cents
  • Midwest: Rock Island, Ill., $2.23/mile, up 11 cents
  • South Central: Fort Worth, Texas, $2.04/mile, unchanged
  • Southeast: Raleigh, N.C., $2.50/mile, up 17 cents
  • Northeast: Harrisburg, Pa., $3.33/mile, up 35 cents

Van trends: Demand for vans increased 16 percent while capacity held steady last week.

Signs of life (van edition): Van markets that have been sluggish lately are starting to pick up:

  • Chicago, up 4 cents to $1.74/mile
  • Columbus, Ohio, up 5 cents to $1.68/mile
  • Philadelphia, up 5 cents to $1.49/mile
  • Charlotte, up 3 cents to $1.82/mile

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.

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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