U.S. spot market rates steady at year’s end

Trends in the spot truckload market during the week ended Jan. 3.

BEAVERTON, OR – National average spot market rates were steady during the week ending Jan. 3, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

DAT Solutions reported rates of $2.07 per mile for van freight, down 1 cent; $2.31 per mile for flatbed freight, up 1 cent; and $2.38 for refrigerated freight, up 2 cents.

These rates include a fuel surcharge, which fell 1 cent as a national average.

Freight availability on the spot truckload market was generally stable (up 0.8%).

The number of available trucks posted between Christmas and New Year’s Day fell 22% compared to the previous week, as more truckers than brokers appeared to take the week off.

Demand up

The van load-to-truck ratio increased from 3.3 to an atypically high 4.3, meaning there were 4.3 van loads posted for every available van on DAT load boards. The reefer load-to-truck ratio increased from 10.2 to 13.9, while the flatbed load-to-truck ratio increased from 18.5 to 22.9.

Fuel price tumbles

The national average fuel price fell 7 cents (2.1%) to $3.14 per gallon. Declining fuel prices tend to have a dampening effect on spot market rates. When fuel prices slip, the surcharge drops and the total rate may decline accordingly.

Load-to-truck ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck available on DAT load boards. The load-to-truck ratio is a sensitive, real-time indicator of the balance between spot market demand and capacity. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in 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. RateView’s database is comprised of more than $24 billion in freight bills in more than 65,000 lanes.


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