Average spot market rates increased with fuel prices last week

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 9/9/2015

The picture for spot rates this past week was clear as two leading load boards were in agreement on the movement of rates for van, reefer and flatbed freight. Rates are showing signs of improvement, perhaps not coincidentally, during a period of fuel prices also climbing.

Analysis of rates provided by DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards, and Truckstop.com reveals an increase in rates for van and reefer freight and a decrease for flatbeds.

Van rates went up 3 cents to $1.78, according to DAT. Truckstop.com van rates also increased by 3 cents to $1.77. This is the first increase in van rates for either load board in nearly a month.

Reefer rates at DAT went up a penny to $2.04. Over at Truckstop.com, reefer rates increased by 4 cents to $2.10. That follows several weeks of the two boards’ rates remaining fairly close together.

Flatbed rates went down two cents to $2.04, according to DAT. Truckstop.com is reporting a 1-cent decline for flatbed rates. Despite the consistent decline, rates vary greatly between the two load boards with Truckstop.com reporting flatbed rates at $1.93, an 11-cent difference.

Across all modes, Truckstop.com shows that load availability remained unchanged and truck availability went down by 1 percent, indicating a relatively small advantage for truckers seeking loads in comparison to the previous week. According to DAT, load-to-truck ratios for all three modes were up for the week ending Sept. 5.

Based on both DAT and Truckstop.com reports, load availability in Indiana appears to be strong, with Arkansas and Ohio also showing higher availability. Numbers for Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut indicate a weaker market for load availability. Ohio replaced Pennsylvania in the strong market category, whereas Massachusetts replaced New Hampshire in the weaker markets. Pennsylvania and New Hampshire still remain strong and weak, respectively, relative to the rest of the country.

Truckstop.com has placed the Market Demand Index (MDI) at 10.34, a 2 percent increase from the previous week. The MDI is a comparison of available loads to available trucks posted on the load board. The higher the MDI, the better the chances that the power rests with the carriers and vice versa; currently, 10 represents an even market.

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