Spot market for truck freight continue to decline

| Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Typical of the January season, spot rates for freight decreased or remained unchanged across the board for the fifth consecutive week for the week ending Saturday, Jan. 31. 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 $1.94. Chicago experienced rates as high as $2.08. Los Angeles dipped slightly below the national average for the first time this year. Rates for the month of January are down 3.7 percent from the previous month, but have remained stagnant since January 2014. Load-to-truck ratios went down 25 percent to 2.0 loads per truck. Only four states – Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont – have a ratio of 5.5 or greater. Compared with previous weeks, this is the fewest number of states having a higher ratio, indicative of the downward seasonal trend.

Reefer rates lost 3 cents to $2.24 compared with the previous week. Green Bay rates were as high as $2.81. Lakeland, Fla., had the low rates of $1.53. Compared with January 2014, reefer rates are up 8.7 percent. Load-to-truck ratios decreased by 11 percent to 6.1 from 6.9 in the previous week. A large portion of the states west of the Mississippi River had ratios in excess of 12 loads per truck.

Flatbed rates were unchanged at $2.21. Harrisburg, Pa., had a high rate of $3.29. Phoenix marked a low rate of $1.57. Rates are down 3.5 percent for the month, but are up 5.7 percent in the last 12 months. There were 10.0 loads per truck for flatbeds, a 0.2 percent decrease from the last week resulting in no change of the ratio. Eighteen states across the country have a ratio of 18 or higher.

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