DAT: Available freight offset higher capacity last week

Oct. 23, 2014

According to DAT Solutions, a 5.6% drop in available freight during the week ending Oct. 18 offset a 5.6% increase in available van, refrigerated and flatbed capacity on DAT’s load boards.

Nationally, DAT found that truckload market rates fell slightly last week compared to the week before. The average van and flatbed rates each fell 2 cents, to $2.01 per mile for vans and $2.38 per mile for flatbeds (all figures include fuel surcharge). The average reefer rate lost 1 cent to $2.28 per mile.

Regionally, the average van rate was “atypically high” out of Los Angeles ($2.25 per mile). Rates from Los Angeles to Phoenix scored near the all-time peak average of $2.57 per mile on the strength of freight moving inland through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Average outbound van rates from Columbus OH ($2.31 per mile), Dallas ($1.75 per mile) and Buffalo ($2.40 per mile) “remained solid as well.” Meanwhile, the average rate from Memphis slipped to $2.32 per mile, down 6 cents, and Atlanta remain unchanged at $2.02 per mile.

Last week, DAT saw van-freight availability fall 2.9% while capacity increased 4.5%. “The resulting load-to-truck ratio slid from 3.1 to 2.8, meaning there were 2.8 van loads posted for every van available on DAT load boards,” the company noted.

Reefer capacity climbed 6.9% last week and freight availability dropped 4.9%, producing an 11% decline in the load-to-truck ratio. “At 7.8 loads per truck, unusually strong seasonal demand in key regions has helped elevate the demand for capacity,” DAT pointed out.

Flatbed capacity went up 8.0% and load availability declined 8.6%. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio stood at 21.9 loads per truck, down from 25.9 in the previous week.

The national average fuel price fell yet again, with DAT recording it as dropping 4 cents to $3.66 per gallon. “Declining fuel prices tend to have a dampening effect on market rates,” DAT observed. “When fuel prices slip, the surcharge drops and the total rate may decline accordingly.”

Click here for DAT’s complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand.

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