SpotRates Photo: DAT

DAT: Spot rates keep sliding in February

The number of trucks available to haul freight keeps climbing, load board network operator says.

According to data tracked by DAT Solutions, national average spot TL rates continued to decline as the number of available loads slipped nearly 6% during the week ending Feb. 3, while the number of trucks available to haul freight increased 3%.

That helped push dry van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios down to near mid-December, pre-electronic logging device (ELD) mandate levels, the firm noted:

  • Dry van: 6.9 available loads per truck
  • Flatbed: 61.1 loads per truck
  • Reefers: 10.2 loads per truck

DAT added that national average TL spot rates dropped three cents for dry van freight to $2.23per mile, declined eight cents for refrigerated or “reefer” loaded to $2.59per mile, and dipped 13 cents for flatbed loads  to $2.26 per mile.
Heading into what DAT described as a “traditionally a slow month,” the number of dry van loads posted declined 16% and truck posts rose 4%. Dry van TL spot rates fell in nearly every major market, the firm added, although prices are higher than they were a year ago.

Chicago’s outbound average had the sharpest decline last week, down 16 cents to $2.77 per mile, which follows a 15-cent drop from the previous week. Other spot rate declines for major city lanes included:

  • Houston: down six cents to $2.00 per mile
  • Memphis: down a penny to $2.54 per mile
  • Los Angeles: down nine cents to $2.32 per mile
  • Columbus, OH: down eight cents to $2.29 per mile

Reefer load posts fell 19% and truck posts increased 2%, DAT said, though prices remain high even though rates on most high-traffic lanes declined.

Long-haul lanes from the southern border took big steps back, the firm said, including McAllen, TX, to Elizabeth, NJ (down 51 cents to $2.76 per mile) and Nogales, AZ, to Brooklyn, NY (down 79 cents to $2.43 per mile).
Spot prices for flatbed freight, however, “remained solid “amid improved demand for capacity, DAT pointed out.

Spot load posts increased 13% and truck posts declined 2%; the 61.9 load-to-truck is the second highest flatbed load-to-truck ratio seen in years.

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