DAT Solutions: August spot market stays hot

Special to Land Line | Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The number of available loads on DAT MembersEdge slipped 2 percent during the week ending Aug. 19 but there’s still a lot of freight to move out there.

The number of truck posts was unchanged as demand for capacity remained solid and prices stayed unseasonably high despite losing a penny in each equipment category compared to the previous week:

  • Van: $1.78/mile
  • Flatbed: $2.18/mile
  • Reefer: $2.08/mile

Load-to-truck ratios declined for vans and flatbeds but the reefer ratio rose. The van load/truck ratio was 4.8; flatbeds 28; and reefers 9. All were higher than the July average.

Diesel holds: The national average on-highway diesel prices fell two-tenths of a penny but still rounds up to $2.60/gallon.

Van posts dip: Nationally, van load posts fell 1 percent and truck posts increased 1 percent, a very small change in an otherwise strong market.

Flats edge down: Flatbed load posts declined 7 percent while truck posts dipped 1 percent. That caused the load-to-truck ratio to drop to 27.6 loads per truck—still a high load-to-truck ratio for this time of year.

Reefer trends: Refrigerated load posts increased 6.5 percent last week while truck posts slipped 0.5 percent. The Midwest is heating up for reefers, which is a normal trend for this time of year. More loads are moving out of the Grand Rapids market, and outbound rates rose in Green Bay and Chicago. More loads left Sacramento last week but it’s still not a high-volume market at this point in the summer.

MembersEdge tri-haul of the week:

You can average $1.90 per loaded mile for the round trip from Houston-Oklahoma City and back, which is solid. If you can complete the 900-mile round trip in two days, that’s $1,700 and a pretty good run.

However, if you get held up and you aren’t going to get all the way home on Day Two, you can make more money by turning this round trip into a tri-haul.

From Oklahoma City, take a load to Shreveport. That’s about 400 miles, and it paid an average of $2.01/mile last week. A second load from Shreveport-Houston is paying $2.38/mile for just under 250 miles.

By the time you get back to Houston, you’ll have driven about 200 more loaded miles and added $560 in revenue, so your total trip will be under 1,100 miles for more than $2,250, or an average of $2.08/mile.

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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