Lower Fuel Surcharge Fuels Spot-Rate Decline

Van load availability recovered 3 percent, while the number of available vans jumped 2 percent

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Beaverton, ORSept. 3, 2015—Spot truckload rates fell an average of 1 cent per mile for van, refrigerated and flatbed loads during the week ending August 29, reports DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.

In each case, the line-haul rate was unchanged compared to the previous week. The 1-cent drop was due to a lower average fuel surcharge as the national average price of diesel fell 5 cents to $2.51 per gallon. All reported spot rates include fuel surcharges.

Van load availability recovered 3 percent, while the number of available vans jumped 2 percent. After rounding, the van load-to-truck ratio was 1.8 loads per truck, meaning there were 1.8 available van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network. The average van rate was $1.75 per mile.

Refrigerated load volume rose another 2 percent as truck capacity edged down 0.7 percent to boost the load-to-truck ratio from 4.7 to 4.9. The national average reefer rate dipped 1 cent to $2.03 per mile.

Flatbed load availability fell 4 percent, while available capacity increased 5.5 percent. The flatbed load-to-truck ratio slipped 9 percent to 9.5 and the average flatbed rate was down a penny to $2.06 per mile.

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.

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