Strong December sees spot market truckload demand top capacity, says DAT

December national averages for dry and reefer (refrigerated) van rates, respectively, saw 2017 highs, said DAT, and the national average flatbed rate was even with its high for the year, too.

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Spot market demand in December was strong, finishing what DAT Solutions, a subsidiary of Roper Industries, called a “banner year” for 2017.

December national averages for dry and reefer (refrigerated) van rates, respectively, saw 2017 highs, said DAT, and the national average flatbed rate was even with its high for the year, too.

And truckload freight availability in December, which DAT said was spurred on by high levels of retail shipments, demand for fresh and frozen foods, and e-commerce fulfillment, saw a 25% annual increase, as per the DAT North American Freight Index. DAT says this index is a “sensitive indicator of demand for transportation services.”

From November to December, DAT said over all freight volume dipped 3%, adding that November was very strong, coupled with other capacity constraints including  inclement weather in several parts of the country, the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate which went into effect on Dec. 18, leading to shippers and freight brokers paying premiums for available trucks.

DAT’s key findings for December included:

  • van rates averaged $2.11 nationally, up 4 cents compared to November for the highest monthly average since DAT started tracking freight rates in DAT RateView  in 2010;
  • van volumes rose 12 percent month-over-month in December, while truck posts decreased 14 percent. That resulted in a load-to-truck ratio of 9—also the highest monthly average ever recorded in DAT Trendlines;
  • late fall pushed the reefer load-to-truck ratio up 18%  to 14.1, its highest point since March of 2014;
  • the average reefer rate for December was $2.46 per mile, which was 3 cents higher than the November average and another all-time high; and
  •  flatbed volumes increased 2 percent when compared to November, while the national average rate remained at $2.33 per mile for the third month in a row

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Article Topics

DAT · Flatbed · Rates · Spot Market · Truckload · All Topics
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