DAT Solutions: Early fireworks on the spot market

Special to Land Line | 7/7/2017

The week ending July 1 included both the end of a quarter and the ramp-up to the Fourth of July holiday. The combination put pressure on truckload capacity and elevated spot rates with shippers rushing to move freight at a time when trucks were scarce.

The number of load posts on MembersEdge gained 3 percent compared to the previous week and truck posts fell 2.8 percent. Van and reefer load-to-truck ratios both made double-digit gains:

  • Van load-to-truck ratio: 6.4 loads per truck, up 16 percent. That's the highest it's been since at least 2010.
  • Reefer ratio: 11.7, up 12 percent
  • Flatbed ratio: 39, down 6.8 percent 

Van trends: Nationally, the number of posted van loads jumped 13 percent while truck posts fell 3 percent. The national average van rate rose 1 cent to $1.80/mile.

June pick-me-up: The imbalance between demand and capacity added pressure on rates, which rose on 74 of the top 100 van lanes in the U.S.

Prime time: Rates usually decline after Independence Day but Amazon’s Prime Day, with special deals on merchandise and shipping, is coming up on Tuesday, July 11. Stay tuned.

Super market: Van rates in the Northeast are up. The average outbound van rate out of Allentown, Pa., added 10 cents per mile week over week, hitting $2.05/mile. Philadelphia got a 6-cent bump to $1.70/mile.

More from Memphis: The average van rate from Memphis rebounded 7 cents to an average of $2.29/mile. Charlotte shot up 6 cents to $2.34/mile. Other key markets:

  • Los Angeles: $2.29/mile, up 5 cents
  • Chicago: $2.12/mile, up 6 cents
  • Columbus: $2.06/mile, up 8 cents

Reefer trends: Reefer load posts increased 9 percent while truck posts declined 3 percent last week. The average rate was unchanged at $2.12/mile, which was the average for all of June. That’s the highest monthly average in almost two years and up 10 cents compared to May. Load availability was up 30 percent compared to May and 84 percent compared to June 2015.

Ch-ch-changes: The biggest changes in the reefer market last week were in California, where freight finally started to move out of the Central Valley in serious quantities. In fact, the average rate from Sacramento was $2.78/mile, up 15 cents.

Ups and downs: Across the country, 47 of the top 72 reefer lanes had higher rates compared to the previous week. Some of those increases were due to the urgent need to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to grocery aisles before the Fourth of July weekend.

Flats head up: The national average rate rebounded 1 cent to $2.16/mile for flatbeds last week, returning to the highest level in nearly two years. Flatbed load availability lost 7.8 percent while truck posts declined 1.1 percent.

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 OOIDA’s MyMembersEdge.com load board or tune in to Land Line Now. You can get all of the latest rate information at DAT.com/trendlines, comment on the DAT Freight Talk blog, or join us on Facebook. On Twitter you can tweet your questions to us @LoadBoards and have your questions 

Copyright © OOIDA