Van and reefer rates reveal signs of improvement; flatbed rates decline

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Two leading load boards reveal varying numbers for the movement of rates for van, reefer and flatbed freight last week. Rates are mostly up or unchanged, indicating the first week of improvements relative to the prior week after four consecutive weeks of decline.

Van rates remained unchanged at $1.67 after the first increase in several weeks, according to Truckstop.com. DAT Solutions van rates went up a penny to $1.72, widening the gap between the two load boards.

Reefer rates at Truckstop.com increased by 3 cents to $1.94. Over at DAT, reefer rates were stagnant at $1.94, leaving the two load boards in agreement with refrigerated freight. Reefer rates between Truckstop.com and DAT are typically close to one another.

Flatbed rates went down a penny from the previous week to $1.91, according to Truckstop.com. DAT is reporting a 3-cent drop for flatbed rates to $1.97, closing the gap between the two load boards. Last week, 8 cents separated Truckstop.com’s flatbed rates from DAT’s.

Across all modes, Truckstop.com shows that load availability decreased by 5 percent, and truck supply went up by 1.1 percent in comparison to the previous week. According to DAT, load-to-truck ratios were up for two of three modes, with flatbed freight experiencing the only decline.

Truckstop.com has placed the Market Demand Index (MDI) at 8.9, a 0.6-point decrease 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. This time last year, the MDI was 16.1, 44.6 percent higher than today.

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