DAT Solutions: Despite more loads, spot rates dip

Special to Land Line | 10/21/2016

Load-to-truck ratios gained in all three equipment types on DAT MembersEdge during the week ending Oct. 15. The average fuel surcharge added a penny as the price of diesel went up another 4 cents to $2.48/gallon as a national average.

But spot truckload rates?

Well, let’s take a closer look at the trendlines from DAT MembersEdge:

National average spot TL rates:

  • Van: $1.66/mile, down 2 cents
  • Reefer: $1.91/mile, down 1 cent
  • Flatbed: $1.92/mile, unchanged

Higher L/T ratios: With more loads in the system, the national average van load-to-truck ratio was up 9 percent to 2.9 while the reefer ratio climbed 4 percent to 5.8. At 14.7, the flatbed ratio was up 10 percent.

Florida freight: Freight started moving into Florida again last week after Hurricane Matthew put shipments on hold. That led to more load posts and higher rates on MembersEdge. Volumes doubled from Charlotte to Lakeland, Fla., which pushed the average rate up 38 cents to $2.65/mile. Atlanta to Lakeland jumped up 16 cents to $2.56/mile.

Hot-lanta: Van rates were higher throughout the Southeast. Atlanta reclaimed the top spot for van load posts as more freight left there for areas affected by the storm and I-95 closures. The average Atlanta-outbound rate jumped 5 cents to $1.91/mile.

Top van markets by region: Van rates rose on more than half of the highest-volume lanes. The high-dollar market in each region:

  • West: Los Angeles, $2.05/mile, up 1 cent
  • South Central: Dallas, $1.53/mile, up 2 cents
  • Southeast: Charlotte, $2.08/mile, up 13 cents
  • Northeast: Buffalo, N.Y., $1.99/mile, down 2 cents
  • Midwest: Chicago, $1.99/mile, down 3 cents

Reefer loads rise: Reefer load posts were up 4 percent last week, while truck posts were unchanged.

…But rates chill: Average reefer rates were cooler than expected. High-dollar markets by region:

  • West: Los Angeles, $2.37, down 2 cents
  • South Central: McAllen, Texas, $1.79/mile, up 10 cents
  • Southeast: Atlanta, $2.25/mile, unchanged
  • Northeast: Philadelphia, $2.36/mile, down 5 cents
  • Midwest: Grand Rapids, Mich., $2.98/mile, down 13 cents

Also out of Atlanta, the lane to Lakeland dropped 11 cents to $2.70/mile, while Lakeland-outbound averaged $1.15/mile, down 6 cents. The trends remained mixed.

Flats up: In the week following Hurricane Matthew, flatbed load posts increased 10 percent while truck posts held steady, elevating the average load-to-truck ratio. The Top 5 markets for flatbed load posts: Little Rock, Cleveland, Shreveport, Spokane, and Portland, Ore.

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 DAT.com.

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