Demand for van and refrigerated capacity increased sharply on the spot market during the final week of 2015 and first two days of the new year, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the DAT network of load boards.
The number of van load posts jumped 27 percent while truck posts dropped 28 percent, sending the van load-to-truck ratio up 77 percent to 3.4, meaning there were 3.4 van loads for every truck posted on the DAT network. Despite the increase in demand, the national average van rate was unchanged at $1.71 per mile.
Reefer load posts soared 40 percent and truck posts declined 24 percent for the week, pushing the reefer load-to-truck ratio up 83 percent to 9.6. The national average reefer rate rose 2 cents to $1.95 per mile.
Flatbed load posts increased 7.8 percent and truck posts fell 29 percent during the week. The national flatbed load-to-truck ratio rose 51 percent to 11.4, while the national average flatbed rate added 1 cent to $1.92 per mile.
Diesel slipped another 3 cents to a national average of $2.21 per gallon.
For the month of December, the national average van rate remained at $1.71 per mile compared to November despite a 3-cent decline in fuel surcharges. Last month's rate was down 37 cents compared to December 2014, including a 20-cent drop in the fuel surcharge.
The national average reefer rate in December rose 1 cent from November to $1.95 per mile, which is 41 cents lower compared to December 2014. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged at $1.92 per mile for the month; the flatbed rate was down 36 cents compared to December 2014.
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. All reported rates include fuel surcharges.
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, visit dat.com/Trendlines. DAT Trendlines is a weekly report on spot market freight availability, truck capacity, and rates.