US spot market stays stable

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Beaverton, Ore. — The US spot market rates remained relatively steady during the last week in October, according to the DAT Solutions.

Based on data compiled from the DAT load boards, the was no change to the spot van rate for the week ending November 1. It remained at US$2.01 per mile, which was the same figure as the two previous weeks. According to DAT, van rates have been above US$2.00 per mile for most of 2014.

The reefer rate was also relatively steady, slipping just one cent to US$2.26 per mile from the previous week. The flatbed rate, however was down 3 cents (or 1.3%) to US$2.35 per mile.

The hot spots in the country were outbound from Buffalo, which jumped 8 cents to US$2.11 per mile, and Los Angeles, which was up 6 cents to US$2.37. DAT attributes this to continued port congestion and difficulty accessing rail services. Other areas that showed increases were Columbus, Ohio (up 5 cents to US$2.26 per mile), and Atlanta (up 3 cents to US$2.03).

DAT reports that overall demand for van, refrigerated, and flatbed was down 1.2% and available capacity fell 4.4%. The van load-to-truck ratio held steady at 2.6.

Looking at van loads specifically, their number declined 1.9% while capacity was off 0.9%. The van load-to-truck ratio held steady at 2.6, meaning there were 2.6 van loads posted for every van available on DAT load boards last week.

Reefer freight availability was down 0.4% and capacity decreased 2.2%, which pushed the reefer load-to-truck ratio up 1.8% to 7.8 loads per truck.

The number of flatbed loads declined 8.8% and available capacity slipped 2.0%, for a 6.9% slide in the load-to-truck ratio. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio stands at 17.9 loads per truck.

The national average fuel price fell 2 cents to US$3.62 per gallon. Declining fuel prices tend to have a dampening effect on market rates. When fuel prices slip, the surcharge drops and the total rate may decline accordingly.

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