Spot freight rates experiencing seasonal decline

| Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reflecting the winter seasonal trend, spot rates decreased across the board for the fourth consecutive week for the week ending Saturday, Jan. 24. This is compared with the prior week, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.  

Van rates declined by 2 cents to $1.96. Los Angeles and Chicago experienced rates as high as $2.00 and $2.11, respectively. Rates for the month of December are up 7.2 percent from December 2013. Load-to-truck ratios went down 30 percent to 2.2 loads per truck. Several northwestern states – including Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana – had a load-to-truck ratio greater than 5.5. Only 11 states have a 5.5 ratio, which is lower than previous weeks, indicative of the downward seasonal trend.

Reefer rates lost 2 cents to $2.27 compared with the previous week. Green Bay rates were as high as $2.81, whereas Lakeland, Fla., had low rates of $1.53. Compared with December 2013, reefer rates are up 14 percent. Load-to-truck ratios decreased by 32 percent to 6.9 from 10.1 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 $2.21. 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 10.0 loads per truck for flatbeds, a 28 percent decrease from the last week. Nearly half the states have a ratio of 18 or higher.

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