After spiking to start the year, load-to-truck ratios and truckload rates on the spot market slid downward during the week ending Jan. 16, according to DAT Solutions.
Diesel prices plummeted 7 cents to $2.11 per gallon, the lowest national average price since March 2009, and caused surcharges to be adjusted downward. Spot rates are “all-in” rates, combining a line-haul rate and a fuel surcharge.
In the van freight market, load posts decreased 21 percent while the number of available trucks rose 29 percent. As a result, the van load-to-truck ratio dropped 38 percent from 2.7 to 1.7 loads per truck. The national average van rate fell 5 cents to $1.68 per mile, which included a 1-cent decline in the average fuel surcharge.
Reefer load posts decreased 26 percent, and truck posts jumped 22 percent during the week as the national average reefer rate dropped 6 cents to $1.90 per mile, including a 1-cent drop in the fuel surcharge. The load-to-truck ratio fell 39 percent from 6.7 to 4.0 loads per truck.
Flatbed load volume held steady, but available capacity increased 27 percent, yielding a 21 percent decline in the load-to-truck ratio from 10.5 to 8.3 loads per truck. Average flatbed rates edged lower to $1.90 per mile, down 2 cents compared to the previous week.
Spot market freight volume rebounded 15 percent in December, month over month, and truckload line-haul rates increased for the three primary trailer types. Compared to the extraordinary volume and rates of 2014, however, spot market indicators continued to lag