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Darker-colored states have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning that there’s less competition for reefer loads in those states.

TOP MARKETS FOR REEFER LOAD POSTS

  1. Chicago
  2. Charlotte
  3. Dallas
  4. Twin Falls, ID
  5. Grand Rapids, MI

Rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.

RISING

  • Mexican produce led to more loads and higher rates in Nogales, AZ, and McAllen, TX
  • Volumes were also up in Dallas and Ontario, CA, but rates hadn’t responded yet
  • Several lanes heading into Denver paid better
  • Sacramento to Denver rose ▲20¢ to $2.15/mile
  • Fresno to Denver was up ▲14¢ for an average of $2.24/mile
  • Chicago to Denver also gained ▲14¢ at $2.24/mile
  • Elizabeth, NJ to Atlanta was another lane that added ▲14¢, to $1.78/mile, to compensate for lower rates out of Atlanta.

FALLING

  • There were a lot fewer reefer loads moving out of Grand Rapids, though it’s still in the top 5 for reefer load posts. Rates are trending down on most outbound lanes
  • Long haul reefer freight from the West Coast trended down — for example, Ontario, CA to Chicago lost ▼14¢ to $1.64/mile
  • Regional freight moving from Sacramento to Los Angeles paid less last week, down ▼16¢ to $2.16/mile, which is early for this direction to slip lower.
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DAT Trendlines

Trucking Business Owner Operator

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powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Oct 16 – 22 vs.
Oct 9 – 15
Sep 2016 vs.
Aug 2016
Sep 2016 vs.
Sep 2015
Spot Market Loads +1.8% +2.8% +34%
Spot Market Capacity +2.5% 7.2% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck 6.4% +9.7% +63%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +1.2% 6.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +6.3% +20% +22%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 0.5% 1.1% 8.3%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +1.5% +7.8% +26%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% +1.1% 5.0%
Fuel Prices +0.0% +1.9% 4.4%
Van Load Volume Falls 3% After Brief Surge

Rates Dip 1¢ Per Mile for Reefers and Flatbeds

Oct 16 – 22 – Load posts increased for flatbeds and reefers last week, but van load volume fell 3% after a brief surge in the previous week. Nationally, average rates slipped 1¢ per mile for reefers and flatbeds, but van rates held steady.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.
Last update: 10/25/2016 – Next update: 11/1/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.48 / gallon
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Fuel Tax Return

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DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Oct 9 – 15 vs.
Oct 2 – 8
Sep 2016 vs.
Aug 2016
Sep 2016 vs.
Sep 2015
Spot Market Loads +5.6% +2.8% +34%
Spot Market Capacity +0.5% 7.2% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck +3.0% +9.7% +63%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.2% +1.2% 6.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +9.8% +20% +22%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% 1.1% 8.3%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +3.7% +7.8% +26%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% +1.1% 5.0%
Fuel Prices +1.6% +1.9% 4.4%
Van and Reefer Rates Decline

Ratios Rise after Hurricane Matthew

Oct 9 – 15 – Load posts on the West Coast slowed after weeks of high demand, but volumes and rates were up in Southeast markets following Hurricane Matthew. Nationally, the van rate fell 2¢, reefer rates slipped 1¢ and flatbed rates held steady, but the load-to-truck ratios were up for all trailer types.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.
Last update: 10/18/2016 – Next update: 10/25/2016

Fuel Prices
+1.6%$2.48 / gallon
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Trucking Load Boards

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DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Oct 2 – 8 vs.
Sep 25 – Oct 1
Sep 2016 vs.
Aug 2016
Sep 2016 vs.
Sep 2015
Spot Market Loads 6.2% +2.8% +34%
Spot Market Capacity +2.3% 7.2% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck 9.3% +9.7% +63%
Van Rates (Spot) +3.7% +1.2% 6.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 6.6% +20% +22%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +2.1% 1.1% 8.3%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 6.6% +7.8% +26%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% +1.1% 5.0%
Fuel Prices +2.0% +1.9% 4.4%
Vans, Reefers and Flatbeds Get a Boost

Rates Rise, Despite Falling Volumes

Oct 2 – 8 – Rates were up last week, but volumes were down. Hurricane Matthew likely contributed to both, with shippers paying more to move loads ahead of the storm, and then locking everything down at the end of the week, with a lot fewer load posts on Friday before the storm hit. Van rates gained 6¢ per mile as a national average, while reefer rates added 1¢ and flatbed rates increased 4¢. Inbound rates could move higher this week in hard-hit areas like the Carolinas.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

Last update: 10/11/2016 – Next update: 10/18/2016

Fuel Prices
+2.0%$2.44 / gallon
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Choosing the Right Business

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When you decide to start a business, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is choosing the right business entity. It’s a decision that impacts many things–from the amount of taxes you pay to how much paperwork you have to deal with and what type of personal liability you face.

Forms of Business

The most common forms of business are Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), and Corporations (C-Corporations). Federal tax law also recognizes another business form called the S-Corporation. While state law controls the formation of your business, federal tax law controls how your business is taxed.

What to Consider

Businesses fall under one of two federal tax systems:

1. Taxation of both the entity itself on the income it earns and the owners on dividends or other profit participation the owners receive from the business. C-Corporations fall under this system of federal taxation.2. “Pass through” taxation. This type of entity (also called a “flow-through” entity) is not taxed, but its owners are each taxed (more or less) on their proportionate shares of the entity’s income. Pass-through entities include:

  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Partnerships, of various types
  • Limited liability companies (LLCs)
  • “S-Corporations” (S-Corps), as distinguished from C-corporations (C-Corps)

The first major consideration when choosing a business entity is whether to choose one that has two levels of tax on income or one that is a pass-through entity with only one level directly on the owners.

The second consideration, which has more to do with business considerations rather than tax considerations, is the limitation of liability (protecting your assets from claims of business creditors).

Let’s take a general look at each of the options more closely:

Types of Business Entities

Sole Proprietorships

The most common (and easiest) form of business organization is the sole proprietorship. Defined as any unincorporated business owned entirely by one individual, a sole proprietor can operate any kind of business (full or part-time) as long as it is not a hobby or an investment. In general, the owner is also personally liable for all financial obligations and debts of the business.

Note: If you are the sole member of a domestic limited liability company (LLC), you are not a sole proprietor if you elect to treat the LLC as a corporation.

Types of businesses that operate as sole proprietorships include retail shops, farmers, large companies with employees, home-based businesses and one-person consulting firms.

As a sole proprietor, your net business income or loss is combined with your other income and deductions and taxed at individual rates on your personal tax return. Because sole proprietors do not have taxes withheld from their business income, you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments if you expect to make a profit. Also, as a sole proprietor, you must also pay self-employment tax on the net income reported.

Partnerships

A partnership is the relationship existing between two or more persons who join to carry on a trade or business. Each person contributes money, property, labor or skill, and expects to share in the profits and losses of the business.

There are two types of partnerships: Ordinary partnerships, called “general partnerships,” and limited partnerships that limit liability for some partners but not others. Both general and limited partnerships are treated as pass-through entities under federal tax law, but there are some relatively minor differences in tax treatment between general and limited partners.

For example, general partners must pay self-employment tax on their net earnings from self-employment assigned to them from the partnership. Net earnings from self-employment include an individual’s share, distributed or not, of income or loss from any trade or business carried on by a partnership. Limited partners are subject to self-employment tax only on guaranteed payments, such as professional fees for services rendered.

Partners are not employees of the partnership and do not pay any income tax at the partnership level. Partnerships report income and expenses from its operation and pass the information to the individual partners (hence the pass-through designation).

Because taxes are not withheld from any distributions partners generally need to make quarterly estimated tax payments if they expect to make a profit. Partners must report their share of partnership income even if a distribution is not made. Each partner reports his share of the partnership net profit or loss on his or her personal tax return.

Limited Liability Companies (LLC)

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure allowed by state statute. Each state is different, so it’s important to check the regulations in the state you plan to do business in. Owners of an LLC are called members, which may include individuals, corporations, other LLCs and foreign entities. Most states also permit “single member” LLCs, i.e. those having only one owner.

Depending on elections made by the LLC and the number of members, the IRS treats an LLC as either a corporation, partnership, or as part of the LLC’s owner’s tax return. A domestic LLC with at least two members is classified as a partnership for federal income tax purposes unless it elects to be treated as a corporation.

An LLC with only one member is treated as an entity disregarded as separate from its owner for income tax purposes (but as a separate entity for purposes of employment tax and certain excise taxes), unless it elects to be treated as a corporation.

C-Corporations

In forming a corporation, prospective shareholders exchange money, property, or both, for the corporation’s capital stock. A corporation conducts business, realizes net income or loss, pays taxes and distributes profits to shareholders.

A corporate structure is more complex than other business structures. When you form a corporation, you create a separate tax-paying entity. The profit of a corporation is taxed to the corporation when earned and then is taxed to the shareholders when distributed as dividends. This creates a double tax.

The corporation does not get a tax deduction when it distributes dividends to shareholders. Earnings distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends are taxed at individual tax rates on their personal tax returns. Shareholders cannot deduct any loss of the corporation.

If you organize your business as a corporation, generally are not personally liable for the debts of the corporation, although there may be exceptions under state law.

S-Corporations

An S-corporation has the same corporate structure as a standard corporation; however, its owners have elected to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes. Shareholders of S-corporations generally have limited liability.

Generally, an S-Corporation is exempt from federal income tax other than tax on certain capital gains and passive income. It is treated in the same way as a partnership, in that generally taxes are not paid at the corporate level. S-Corporations may be taxed under state tax law as regular corporations, or in some other way.

Shareholders must pay tax on their share of corporate income, regardless of whether it is actually distributed. Flow-through of income and losses is reported on their personal tax returns and they are assessed tax at their individual income tax rates, allowing S-Corporations to avoid double taxation on the corporate income.

To qualify for S-Corporation status, the corporation must meet a number of requirements. Please call if you would like more information about which requirements must be met to form an S-Corporation.

Professional Guidance

When making a decision about which type of business entity to choose each business owner must decide which one best meets his or her needs. One form of business entity is not necessarily better than any other and obtaining the advice of a tax professional is critical. If you need assistance figuring out which business entity is best for your business, don’t hesitate to call.

DAT News & Blogs

I recently had the opportunity to look at LTL (Less than truckload or partial truckload) shipments in DAT’s rate and load databases. I think what I learned could help you increase your revenue and help you price LTL freight.

On an average week, about 6% of the loads posted on DAT are LTL shipments. Most truckers on the load board prefer to carry full truckloads, so only 7% of truckers post their trucks as available to carry LTL. For these truckers, the national LTL-to-truck ratio is about 2.2 loads per truck per week. This shows that LTL shipments are available.

Since LTL shipments pay less than truckload, how could they increase a truckload carrier’s revenue per mile?  Although LTL shipments pay less, they’re significantly lighter and take up a smaller percentage of a truck’s volume and weight capacity. Because of that – plus the work in smaller pick-ups along with consolidated LTL freight in the competitive trucking market – LTL shipments pay 2 to 6 times more than truckload freight on a per-pound and per-cubic-foot basis.

HOW DO YOU PRICE LTL LOADS?

Just as full truckload prices vary from lane to lane, so do LTL shipment prices. During my analysis I found that the LTL shipment prices could be shown as a percentage of the going truckload price when grouped into specific weight bands. On average, I found that:

  • Shipments less than 1,000 lbs generally pay about 15% of a truckload while taking well under 5% of a trailer’s total space.
  • Shipments between 1,000 and 5,000 lbs generally pay about 30% of a truckload while taking less than 5% of a trailer’s space.
  • Heavier shipments – greater than 5,000 lbs – generally pay about 60% of a full truckload and max out at about 30% of a trailer’s total space.

You can take the average spot market rates you see in DAT load boards or the broker-to-carrier rates in DAT RateView and multiply that by the percentages above. That can work as a starting price for LTL freight when talking to brokers. If you are pricing directly for a shipper customer, those broker-to-carrier rates are still useful, but you’ll want to add in a margin since you are doing the sales effort. The experts tell me that the margin on LTL freight is typically higher than truckload, so adding around 20% should keep your rate competitive for shipper customers.

A truckload carrier has at least three opportunities to use LTLs when they appear on the load board or from a customer:

1. Couple an LTL or partial load on the trailer with a truckload that doesn’t weigh out and doesn’t fill the full space of the truck.  For example: If you have a truckload that weighs 40,000 lbs and takes up 2,000 cubic feet of space, then adding an LTL load (going to the same destination) that is 3,000 lbs and takes up 150 cubic feet of space would increase your revenue per mile significantly.

2. Consolidate two or more partials into a full or nearly full truckload. Consolidation offers potentially high returns and a rate that’s higher than the standard truckload rate. Just keep in mind that LTL freight can be a lot more labor intensive than truckload. Consolidating several small shipments and loading them in the order in which they need to be delivered can be tricky.

3. Get a partial in a situation where you might otherwise deadhead. Maybe there is an LTL available, but there just isn’t a full truckload. Other times, the lower weight and easier loading/unloading of an LTL could make it work where a full truckload wouldn’t make sense. Besides, receiving a percentage of a truckload price is better than nothing!

Next time you are on the load board, keep an eye out for LTL shipments. Finding the perfect LTL load might make your trip that much more productive.  Tell us in the comments section if your efforts with LTL freight improved your revenue or if you have tried LTL and it didn’t work out.

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DAT News & Blogs

DAT Trendlines

Trucking Owner Operator

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powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Sep 25 – Oct 1 vs.
Sep 18 – 24
Sep 2016 vs.
Aug 2016
Sep 2016 vs.
Sep 2015
Spot Market Loads +7.2% +2.8% +34%
Spot Market Capacity 1.9% 7.2% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck +12% +9.7% +63%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.2% +1.2% 6.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +8.6% +20% +22%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% 1.1% 8.3%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +8.1% +7.8% +26%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% +1.1% 5.0%
Fuel Prices +0.4% +1.9% 4.4%
Load Availability Rises 7% as Third Quarter Ends

Van Rates Lose 2¢ on Mixed Regional Results

Sep 25 – Oct 1 – Load availability increased, but van rates lost 2¢ per mile as a national average. Results varied by region, as outbound rates rose in most West Coast markets. Reefer and flatbed rates held steady last week, with seasonal changes in some key markets. Rates may rise in the Southeast this week, as shippers attempt to move freight out of the path of an oncoming hurricane.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.
Last update: 10/4/2016 – Next update: 10/11/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.4% – $2.39 / gallon
Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.