Seasonal trends continued to hamper truckload freight availability and rates on the spot market during the week ending July 25, 2015, reports 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 (–6.5%). This sent load-to-truck ratios up across all three equipment types despite lower national average spot rates the week ending July 25. A decrease in load volume is typical for July, DAT said. Volume typically picks up again in August. The average rate for vans lost 2 cents to $1.83 per mile as van load availability dropped another 4.7% and truck capacity slipped 3.0%. The van load-to-truck ratio dipped 1.7% to 1.6 loads per truck, meaning there were 1.6 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network.
The number of refrigerated load posts dropped 3.1% while truck posts decreased 8.0%, pushing the national average reefer load-to-truck ratio down 5.3% to 4.1 loads per truck. The reefer market remains soft, which is reflected in the average spot market rate of $2.15 per mile, a 2-cent decline compared with the previous week. Flatbed load posts retreated 4.8% while truck posts slumped 16%. The load-to-truck ratio jumped 14% to 13.2 loads per truck—not a strong number for flatbeds—and the national average rate slipped a penny to $2.14 per mile. All reported rates include fuel surcharges. Notably, the national average price of diesel lost 6 cents to $2.72 the week ending July 25. 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. 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. For complete national and regional reports on spot rates and demand, access www.dat.com/Trendlines.