U.S. Spot Freight Rates Continue Moving Lower

BEAVERTON, OR — Seasonal trends continued to hamper U.S. truckload freight availability and rates on the spot market during the week ending July 25, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

The total number loads posted fell 4.4% while the number of available trucks also declined by 6.5%. This sent load-to-truck ratios up across all three equipment types despite lower national average spot rates last week, which are at their lowest levels in at least four weeks in the three major equipment types.

A decline in load volume is typical for July, DAT said. Volume typically picks up again in August.

The average rate for vans fell US$0.02 to US$1.83 per mile as van load availability dropped another 4.7 percent and truck capacity slipped 3 percent. The van load-to-truck ratio dipped 1.7 percent to 1.6 loads per truck, meaning there were 1.6 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in rates.

The number of refrigerated load posts fell 3.1 percent while truck posts decreased 8 percent, pushing the national average reefer load-to-truck ratio down 5.3 percent to 4.1 loads per truck. The reefer market remains soft, which is reflected in the average spot market rate of US$2.15 per mile, a US$0.02 decline compared to the previous week.

Flatbed load posts decreased 4.8 percent while truck posts fell 16 percent. The load-to-truck ratio jumped 14 percent to 13.2 loads per truck – not a strong number for flatbeds – and the national average rate slipped a penny to US$2.14 per mile.

All reported rates include fuel surcharges. Notably, the national average price of diesel in the U.S. declined US$0.06 to US$2.72 last week.



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