DAT Solutions: Back at work, more trucks chase fewer loads

Special to Land Line | Thursday, January 19, 2017

With the holidays over there were 34 percent more trucks posted to the MembersEdge load board during the week ending Jan. 14 compared to the previous week.

There was an 18 percent increase in the number of loads.

Predictably, rates and load-to-truck ratios took a tumble during the first full workweek of the year.

Rates retreat: With more trucks in the marketplace, rates fell for all three equipment types:

  • Vans: $1.72/mile, down 5 cents
  • Reefers: $2.00/mile, down 3 cents
  • Flatbeds: $1.89/mile, down 3 cents

Those rates include a fuel surcharge. Diesel slipped 1 cent to an average of $2.59/gallon.

Vans galore: The number of vans posted on MembersEdge was up 36 percent compared to the previous week while van load posts rose more gradually at 14 percent. The van load-to-truck ratio was 3.9, still unseasonably high.

Rates fall: Spot van rates declined in many markets, including key regional hubs:

  • Chicago, $2.10/mile, down 1 cent
  • Dallas, $1.57/mile, down 1 cent
  • Atlanta, $1.90/mile, down 6 cents
  • Philadelphia, $1.75/mile, unchanged
  • Los Angeles, $1.99/mile, down 6 cents

Flatbeds bounce back: Flatbed demand rebounded with a 31 percent increase in available loads. Truck posts increased 38 percent, which pressed the flatbed load-to-truck ratio down slightly to 27.1.

Reefers imbalanced: Keeping with the theme, the number of reefer load posts could not keep pace with the number of available trucks, which was up 27 percent. The reefer load-to-truck ratio fell 15 percent to 9.1.

Holding strong at $2 a mile: While the national average reefer rate fell 3 cents but $2.00/mile is still strong for mid-January.

Stormy California: Rates were down in all major reefer markets in California as the state was hit by heavy rains in the lower elevations and snow in the mountains. The average outbound rate from Los Angeles slipped 3 cents to $2.46/mile.

McAllen strong on produce imports: Imports are driving more activity at McAllen, Texas, where the average outbound rate was $2.05/mile, up 4 cents. McAllen-Dallas gained 24 cents to $2.58/mile compared to the previous week.

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.

For the latest spot market load availability and rate information, visit MyMembersEdge.com, join the conversation on Twitter with @LoadBoards, and listen to Land Line Now on the Sirius XM Road Dog Channel.

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