DAT Solutions: Hot July continues on MembersEdge

Special to Land Line | Thursday, July 20, 2017

The spot freight market went back to work last week and recovered from a four-day holiday as the number of posted loads on DAT MembersEdge increased 35 percent. Truck posts added 28 percent, a sign that truckers returned to their full-time schedules.

Looking at the three major freight segments individually:

  • Van load/truck ratio: 5.0, down slightly despite record load volume on the top 100 lanes
  • Flatbed L/T: 38.0, and rates remain strong
  • Reefer L/T: 9.0, back to mid-June levels

Rates retreat: Without the urgency of a Fourth of July delivery deadline, national average rates backed away from their June peaks:

  • Van: $1.83/mile, down 7 cents, which is still 3 cents higher than the June average
  • Flatbed: $2.20/mile, down a penny from a two-year peak and 4 cents above June’s average
  • Reefer: $2.12/mile, down 6 cents to match the average for June

Lower rates and volumes are expected as freight activity usually tapers off during the summer and fall.

Diesel climbs: The average on-highway diesel price edged up another penny to a national average of $2.49/gallon.

Van lanes are up: The Top 100 van lanes experienced record volume last week and nationally van load posts increased 21 percent. Posted capacity jumped 30 percent nationally.

Rates? Not so much: Despite high volumes, van rates fell. Prices were lower in the Southeast, South Central, and Northeast. Allentown, Pa., lost 11 cents to an average of $2.03/mile and Philadelphia dropped 4 cents to $1.70/mile. Other van markets edged downward:

  • Los Angeles: $2.21/mile, down 8 cents
  • Charlotte: $2.25/mile, down 8 cents
  • Atlanta: $2.20/mile, down 5 cents
  • Dallas: $1.78/mile, down 6 cents
  • Houston: $1.84/mile, down 5 cents

Reefer trends: Reefer load posts increased 27 percent while truck posts were up 17 percent—again, in line with expectations following a holiday week. Reefer rates fell in many California markets, including Sacramento (down 3 cents to $2.76/mile) and 6 cents in Fresno ($2.37/mile).

Cool-lanta: Atlanta is the top origin for outbound reefer loads, and rates there were an average of 5 cents lower at $2.56/mile. Check out these lane pairs: Atlanta-Lakeland, Fla., $3.18/mile, up 15 cents; Lakeland-Atlanta, $1.38/mile, down 49 cents. As an average, Lakeland outbound was down 41 cents to $1.62/mile.

Flatbed trends: Flatbed volumes didn’t slip as expected in the first half of July. Instead, there were almost 50 percent more loads last week than the week before, and rates are holding up at the highest levels in almost two years.

Hot flatbed markets: Flatbed rates were on the rise last week in two Atlantic seaport markets: Baltimore and Jacksonville. Two Southeastern freight hubs, Atlanta and Memphis, also got a big boost. Atlanta’s outbound rates hit an average of $2.70/mile, very close to Houston’s $2.71/mile high-water mark. Houston is the leader for flatbed volume and rates.

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 answered by DAT industry analyst Mark Montague.

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