Loads, rates fall on spot truckload market due partly to weather, DAT reports

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DAT-RTOW-WideBoth the amount of loads available and freight rates fell in the week ended Jan. 25, according to DAT Trendlines, as the arctic blast from the “polar vortex” event earlier this month and other blasts of cold air stymied a strong start to January.

Load volumes and rates, per a composite of the DAT network loadboards, fell 11.9 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.


Van rates fell a penny to $1.94 — still up 21 cents from January 2013’s average, per DAT — while van load volume fell 15.6 percent and available trucks climbed 9.9 percent. The load-to-truck ratio fell to 3.7, down 23 percent from the week before.

Reefer rates dropped 6 cents to $2.06 a mile as demand for reefer units fell 17.1 percent and capacity climbed 7.9 percent. The load to truck ratio for reefers also fell to 11.5, a 23 percent drop from the prior week’s 15 to 1.

Flatbed rates were unchanged at $2.07. Flatbed demand fell 4.4 percent, and capacity fell 18 percent, thus driving up the load to truck ratio to 17.1, a 16.5 percent increase from the prior week’s 14.7.