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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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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
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-Truck6.4%+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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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
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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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Oct 2 – 8 vs.
Sep 25 – Oct 1
Sep 2016 vs.
Aug 2016
Sep 2016 vs.
Sep 2015
Spot Market Loads6.2%+2.8%+34%
Spot Market Capacity+2.3%7.2%1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck9.3%+9.7%+63%
Van Rates (Spot)+3.7%+1.2%6.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck6.6%+20%+22%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+2.1%1.1%8.3%
Reefer Load-To-Truck6.6%+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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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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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
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 Capacity1.9%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
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Some unlikely places have been popping up at the top of our list of markets with the most reefer loads in the past couple of weeks. If you look at the Hot States Map below, you’ll see that Idaho is deep blue. Twin Falls, in the southern part of the state, has been the number 1 market for reefer load posts on DAT TruckersEdge for two weeks in a row. In other words, there are a lot of potatoes and onions that need shipping, and not enough trucks there to haul them.

Eastern Oregon also grows potatoes and onions, and Pendleton, OR has had more reefer loads in the past couple of weeks than either Dallas or Atlanta.

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

TOP 5 FOR REEFER LOADS

These markets had the most reefer load posts last week:

  1. Twin Falls, ID
  2. Chicago, IL
  3. Elizabeth, NJ
  4. Grand Rapids, MI
  5. Pendleton, OR

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

RISING:

  • Twin Falls to Chicago rates were up ▲24¢ to $1.89/mile
  • Twin Falls to Baltimore paid an average of $2.17/mile, and there are a lot of miles on that trip
  • Outbound rates in Dallas rebounded last week and are back to about where they were a month ago

Prices were steady in California for the most part, but two lanes got big raises. They both go to difficult markets, though, so you’ll want to make your money going in:

  • L.A. to Denver rose ▲28¢ to $2.52/mile.
  • Sacramento to Portland, OR was up ▲20¢ and also averaged $2.52/mile

Midwest reefer rates were mostly down, but Green Bay to Minneapolis paid ▲20¢ better, at $2.10/mile

FALLING:

Rates out of Chicago took a step back last week.

  • Chicago to Atlanta fell ▼12¢ but still averaged $2.51/mile (That lane has already gained some of that back this week.)
  • Chicago to Kansas City also lost ▼13¢ and paid an average of $2.12/mile

Apple shipments might be slowing down in Michigan. The lane from Grand Rapids to Atlanta fell ▼24¢ to $2.32/mile.

One lane out West saw a big drop: Fresno to Denver lost ▼20¢ at $2.02/mile.

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

Retailers are starting to shift inventory from West Coast distribution centers to other DCs out East. L.A. outbound rates are up, especially on eastbound lanes, and the City of Angels jumped up to number 2 in load posts (number 1 is Chicago).

On the top 100 van lanes, more had rates go up than down last week, but prices changes were generally small. Seattle rates have also been trending up, which is partly due to fall harvests in Washington State, but it could also be related to the disruption of ocean freight. There’s extra traffic out of Stockton, CA, too.

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

RISING LANE RATES

  • Seattle to Salt Lake City added ▲13¢ to an average of $1.83/mile
  • The backhaul lane from Portland, OR, to Stockton paid ▲14¢ better, averaging $1.42/mile
  • The headhaul direction also paid better: Rates for Stockton to Portland were up to $2.29/mile

FALLING LANE RATES

There were fewer loads moving out of Columbus and Chicago last week, but rates were still strong. Prices slipped in the Northeast, though.

Two lanes out of Buffalo lost some recent gains:

  • Buffalo to Charlotte fell ▼25¢ to $1.44/mile
  • Buffalo to Chicago also dropped ▼10¢ to just $1.26/mile

The average rate on the lane from Allentown, PA, to Boston fell ▼10¢ to $3.08/mile. That rate might still look good, but loads are hard to come by once you get to Boston.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Sep 18 – 24 vs.
Sep 11 – 17
Aug 2016 vs.
Jul 2016
Aug 2016 vs.
Aug 2015
Spot Market Loads4.5%+0.5%+29%
Spot Market Capacity+3.4%+14%+8.6%
Van Load-To-Truck10%4.6%+49%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.0%1.2%8.0%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck0.3%26%6.0%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)0.5%1.6%8.2%
Reefer Load-To-Truck9.2%+4.8%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.0%2.1%6.9%
Fuel Prices0.4%2.2%9.4%
National Average Rates Hold Steady

Hanjin Woes Boost Spot Market Truck Freight

Sep 18 – 24 – Trucks on the West Coast are feeling some ripple effects from the Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy and resulting supply chain shake-up. Spot market van freight volume and rates surged last week in L.A., but national rate trends were stable.

Last update: 9/27/2016 – Next update: 10/4/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.38 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Sep 11 – 17 vs.
Sep 4 – 10
Aug 2016 vs.
Jul 2016
Aug 2016 vs.
Aug 2015
Spot Market Loads+20%+0.5%+29%
Spot Market Capacity+19%+14%+8.6%
Van Load-To-Truck4.4%4.6%+49%
Van Rates (Spot)1.2%1.2%8.0%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+8.1%26%6.0%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+1.1%1.6%8.2%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+0.6%+4.8%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)1.0%2.1%6.9%
Fuel Prices0.4%2.2%9.4%
Van and Reefer Rates Drop 2¢, But Remain Strong

Flatbed Rates Recover 2¢

Sep 11 – 17 – Spot market freight trends were out of sync last week. Load-to-truck ratios held steady for vans and reefers, but rates fell 2¢ per mile for both trailer types. Rates are still strong for the season, however. Flatbed rates and ratios recovered, on the other hand, at a time of year when those indicators typically decline.

Last update: 9/20/2016 – Next update: 9/27/2016

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Sep 4 – 10 vs.
Aug 28 – Sep 3
Aug 2016 vs.
Jul 2016
Aug 2016 vs.
Aug 2015
Spot Market Loads13%+0.5%+29%
Spot Market Capacity15%+14%+8.6%
Van Load-To-Truck0.4%4.6%+49%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.0%1.2%8.0%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+21%26%6.0%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)1.6%1.6%8.2%
Reefer Load-To-Truck9.1%+4.8%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.5%2.1%6.9%
Fuel Prices0.4%2.2%9.4%
Van and Reefer Rates Hold Up in Post-Holiday Week

Flatbed Rates Slip 3¢

Sep 4 – 10 – Van rates held onto the previous week’s gains, and reefer rates rose another 1¢ last week, but flatbeds slipped 3¢ per mile, as a national average. Load-to-truck ratios remained stable for vans, but the reefer ratio declined and flatbed demand increased relative to capacity.
Last update: 9/13/2016 – Next update: 9/20/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.40 / gallon

DAT News & Blogs

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

Texas volumes have improved, and outbound rates were up the major van lanes from Dallas. Prices in Chicago, Columbus, Seattle, and Philadelphia are all higher than they were a month ago.

Demand for vans has been highest across the northern band of states, and the Midwest has a top region for loads and rates. Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Joliet, IL, were all in the top 10 for load posts on DAT Load Boards last week. Rates on the lane from Columbus to Buffalo rose 27¢ and paid $2.76/mile on average.

Outbound rates were down in Buffalo, and a couple inbound lanes also paid less: The lane from Charlotte was down 28¢ to $1.90/mile. Chicago to Buffalo also fell 20¢, but it’s still averaging $2.17/mile, which is higher than it was three weeks ago. Out West, the backhaul from Denver to Stockton only paid an average of $0.96/mile.


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

Reefer volumes also held up during the 4-day work week. Of the top 72 reefer lanes, 35 of them paid better, while rates slipped lower on 32 lanes. Northern markets have shown the highest demand: Chicago; Elizabeth, NJ; and Grand Rapids, MI were numbers 1, 2, and 3 for reefer load posts last week.

The two biggest gains on lane rates were also out of the Midwest: Grand Rapids to Madison, WI, was up 29¢ to $2.75/mile, while Green Bay to Joliet rose 29¢ to a nice $3.35/mile. Chicago to Minneapolis dropped 18¢ to $1.93/mile, but you can make more money right now going the other direction. Minneapolis to Chicago rates were up to $2.01/mile.

Out West, the outbound average in Sacramento surged to $2.39/mile, which is just 2¢ shy of the average reefer rate out of Los Angeles.

 

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Aug 28 – Sep 3 vs.
Aug 21 – 27
Aug 2016 vs.
Jul 2016
Aug 2016 vs.
Aug 2015
Spot Market Loads+8.4%+0.5%+29%
Spot Market Capacity2.5%+14%+8.6%
Van Load-To-Truck+16%4.6%+49%
Van Rates (Spot)+3.7%1.2%8.0%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+4.4%26%6.0%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.5%1.6%8.2%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+14%+4.8%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+1.6%2.1%6.9%
Fuel Prices+0.0%2.2%9.4%
Freight Rates and Ratios Rise at End of Month

Van Rates Add 6¢

Aug 28 – Sep 3 – Van rates jumped 6¢ and reefers added 3¢ last week. Even flatbeds got a 1¢ raise, due to an increase in the fuel surcharge. Load-to-truck ratios got a healthy boost, so the higher rates may outlast end-of-month and pre-holiday pressure.
Last update: 9/6/2016 – Next update: 9/13/2016

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Aug 21 – 27 vs.
Aug 14 – 20
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads+4.7%15%+19%
Spot Market Capacity+0.0%6.4%9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck+8.4%2.4%+60%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.0%+1.2%9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck5.2%20%+6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)1.6%2.0%9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+12%8.4%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.0%2.0%9.0%
Fuel Prices+1.7%0.7%14%
More Loads, Steady Rates for Vans and Reefers

Flatbed Rates Decline 3¢

Aug 21 – 27 – More loads were available last week for vans and reefers on the spot market, and national average rates were unchanged. Load volume and rates declined 3¢ for flatbeds, however.
Last update: 8/30/2016 – Next update: 9/6/2016

Fuel Prices
+1.7%$2.41 / gallon

DAT News

Many new trucking companies close their doors within the first year of operation. Why? There are a few of the common mistakes that I’ve seen owner-operators and small carriers make, and as a result I’ve seen a huge number of them close their doors before their first anniversary.

Below are four of the most common mistakes a trucking company might make – plus ways you can avoid them.

How to survive as a trucking business

1. Growing Too Quickly

Running a small fleet is a daily challenge that requires patience, organization and hard work. However, some owners jump out and hire too many people to help them through this process. Hiring people is often the single largest expense for a company – in trucking, it’s usually only surpassed by fuel costs.

Outsourcing simple tasks will allow you to focus on what you’re best at: hauling freight. Good examples of items that can be outsourced: back-office functions, payroll processing, human resources and marketing. You can also use a load board or a dispatch service instead of hiring a salesperson. Most of these services can be handled by experts at a much cheaper rate, while also ensuring that you meet all state and federal guidelines related to these functions.

Before hiring staff members, see if your current staff is overwhelmed and often working overtime. Ask them to outline all of their tasks for the week, plus how much time they spend on each task. Ask yourself: Are these tasks essential to meeting our goals? Can we eliminate this task? Can we outsource this task? You’ll need to answer these questions, so that you don’t outspend your revenue.

2. Not Meeting “New Entrant” CSA Guidelines

The “new entrant” guidelines state that all new fleets filing for DOT registration will be audited WITHIN the first 18 months. Many new entrants assume this means that they have 18 months to meet all of the guidelines before they are audited, but I’ve known many fleets that were audited on month 3 and were shut down for 30 days until they met all of the requirements. This temporary shut-down almost always results in bankruptcy.

New entrants will AUTOMATICALLY FAIL the CSA Safety audit for the following violations:

Alcohol and Drug Violations

  • No alcohol and/or drug testing program
  • No RANDOM alcohol and/or drug testing program
  • Using a driver who refused a required alcohol or drug test
  • Using a driver the company knows had a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or greater
  • Using a driver who failed to complete required follow-up procedures after testing positive for drugs

Driver Violations

  • Using a driver without a valid CDL
  • Using a disqualified driver
  • Using a driver with a revoked, suspended, or cancelled CDL
  • Using a medically unqualified driver

Operations Violations

  • Operating a motor vehicle without having the required level of insurance
  • Failing to require drivers to make hours-of-service records

Repairs and Inspections Violations

  • Operating a vehicle declared Out-of-Service for safety deficiencies before repairs are made
  • Not performing OOS repairs reported in driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs)
  • Operating a CMV not periodically inspected

See the full list of carrier requirements at the FMCSA website.

3. Not Having Enough Insurance Coverage

Most fleets realize that they need liability and cargo insurance, and most fleets generally meet the base guidelines. However, it’s also important to have coverage for physical damage of non-owned trailers and general liability protecting your drivers or others when the truck is not involved. Some examples: customers slipping or falling on your premises, erroneous delivery of products resulting in damage, actions of a driver at loading docks, truck stops, etc. Some fleets, based on size and type, may also need Workers Compensation coverage – too many fleets are not carrying enough in this area.

Not having enough insurance has left many fleets with the inability to pay for damages. They just purchased enough to meet the minimum requirements and didn’t fully understand the long-term effects of their decisions.

4. Not Understanding Your True Costs per Mile

You need to know both the fixed and variable costs to operate your business. Fixed costs are the expenses you incur even if your truck isn’t running, like truck payments, insurance, building rent, etc. Variable costs are what you spend to move a load: fuel, tires, maintenance, etc. Starting out, you should have enough cash on hand to cover your expenses for 3-6 months, since you’ll need to cover these costs before money starts coming in. Plus, your business might not grow as fast as you expected at the beginning. Knowing your costs per mile will help you manage that cash flow.

The cost per mile and other financial reports are also a good barometer for the financial health of your business. It’s best to understand your basic cost per mile based on the annual mileage and annual expenses for all of your vehicles. The simplest way to do it is divide the annual costs by the number of miles run that year. The challenge is to accurately allocate ALL of the expenses – the key reason many fleets don’t survive. All too often, new fleets do NOT take the time to understand their expenses, document their expenses, and then fully understand their cost per mile. They then accept nearly any rate just to get a load. Over time, this model gets them upside down with their cash flow. Before long, bills aren’t getting paid, drivers aren’t making the amount of money they need, and the entire business starts to collapse from within.

DAT News

Van Reefer Flatbed Rates

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Aug 14 – 20 vs.
Aug 7 – 13
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads0.9%15%+19%
Spot Market Capacity0.2%6.4%9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck+1.7%2.4%+60%
Van Rates (Spot)0.6%+1.2%9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck7.1%20%+6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.0%2.0%9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+4.3%8.4%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)0.5%2.0%9.0%
Fuel Prices+2.5%0.7%14%
Load Volume Rises for Vans and Reefers

Are Van Rates Ready to Rebound?

Aug 14 – 20 – Spot market rates edged down 1¢ per mile for vans and reefers last week, but load posts increased for both trailer types, so rates could be ready to rebound. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged, week over week, and flatbed load volume declined.
Last update: 8/22/2016 – Next update: 8/29/2016

Fuel Prices
+2.5%$2.37 / gallon

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DAT News

Most years, van volumes and rates fall in July and pick back up again in August. The timing is off this year. Rates and volumes mostly held steady this past July, but loads and rates dropped off last week. We could still see another rebound in a couple of weeks.

So, where can you find a load for your van right now? The top five markets for load posts on DAT TruckersEdge are Atlanta, Chicago, Elizabeth NJ, Dallas, and Indianapolis. There were more loads in Northern New Jersey last week, and Indy had a good week, too. The other three markets (Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas) lost traction, but they are not moving out of the top 5.

Darker colored states above have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning there’s less competition for van freight in those states.

The rates below include fuel surcharges and are averages based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.

RISING

43 of the top 100 van lanes saw prices go up last week, but most of the increases were small.

  • Biggest gain last week: Philadelphia to Boston up ▲10¢ to $3.19/mile (That rate sounds great but you have traffic and tolls on I-95, plus it can be tough to find a load out of the Boston area)
  • Second-biggest gain last week: Chicago to Buffalo up ▲8¢ to pay $2.26/mile on average
  • Seattle and Denver had the biggest improvements in volumes last week.
  • Rates didn’t change in Denver, but Seattle prices got a boost
  • The bad news is that the Seattle average was still just $1.19/mile outbound.

Also, some truckers are getting loads from FEMA this week to bring emergency supplies to the flood zones in Louisiana. That can be dangerous work, and it’s hard to find a load back out, so be careful out there.

FALLING

  • Los Angeles rates dropped to a 6-week low last week, an average of $2.07/mile.
  • The lane rate from L.A. to Chicago dropped ▼17¢ to just $1.16/mile, which makes your trucks more competitive with the railroad, but that’s just not an attractive rate for 2,000 miles
  • Memphis to Charlotte fell ▼14¢ to just $1.67/mile
  • Charlotte to Buffalo rates lost ▼22¢ to $1.95/mile, the first time that lane has averaged less than $2.00 in a while.
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DAT News

Truck Load Boards

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Aug 7 – 13 vs.
Jul 31 – Aug 6
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads6.2%15%+19%
Spot Market Capacity+3.1%6.4%9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck7.0%2.4%+60%
Van Rates (Spot)1.8%+1.2%9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck14%20%+6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)0.5%2.0%9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck5.5%8.4%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)1.6%2.0%9.0%
Fuel Prices0.4%0.7%14%
Volumes and Rates Take a Late-Summer Dip

Van Rates Drop 3¢

Aug 7 – 13 – Spot market demand dipped 6% last week, accompanied by a 3¢ decline in the national average van rate. It’s now lower than the June average, for the first time in six weeks, a transition that typically occurs in the first week of July. Reefer rates also fell 3¢, and the national average flatbed rate edged down 1¢ on declining fuel surcharges.

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.31 / gallon

Last update: 8/16/2016 – Next update: 8/23/2016

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DAT News

Recent blog posts about the DAT survey on driver detention have yielded lots of comments, including sad stories, but also recommendations for brokers as well as carriers.

Bottom line: When carriers and brokers work together effectively, they can help reduce excess detention and its impact.

motor carrier detention
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed

Communication is Key

Many comments emphasized the importance of communication. Reader Bob Farrell noted that both the carrier and broker need to communicate more:

Carriers should know the ‘game rules’ in advance and notify the broker when they: 1) have arrived. 2) have been placed to the dock. 3) are approaching the end of the free time (i.e., at 60 minutes, 90 minutes, etc.).

Likewise, Farrell says that the broker needs to notify the customer that the time window is closing. Another commenter, Chris, pointed out:

If you speak with your broker, they can help most of the time. They just don’t want to have the conflict and potential loss of income. Drivers think load by load, brokers think about overall volume from the customer.

Need for Documentation

When detention does occur, having the proper documentation is critical. Catherine Mallery, a 3PL, says:

We have a standard detention policy that outlines free time, rates per hour, and necessary actions/documents to qualify for detention. Each customer has their own policy and we have to manage all these expectations to try and recover detention. 

Many carriers, however, complained that getting detention pay is nearly impossible, even with proper documentation. Mitch writes:

What about the broker who tells you they can’t pay detention without the in and out times being stamped on the bill of lading, and the dock worker tells the driver they do not stamp bills with in and out times?

Julie, who identified herself as a former owner-operator and now a broker, said this about detention pay:

We tried putting it in our contracts, but now shippers don’t want to sign our contract. They want us to sign theirs, which of course doesn’t include detention. 

More on Driver Detention

We’ve also received a lot of comments on Facebook

“Like” our Facebook page to join the conversation.

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DAT News

Semi Truck Shipping Quotes

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jul 31 – Aug 6 vs.
Jul 24 – 30
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads3.9%15%+19%
Spot Market Capacity+0.1%6.4%9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck2.2%2.4%+60%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.0%+1.2%9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck11%20%+6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.5%2.0%9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+3.6%8.4%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.0%2.0%9.0%
Fuel Prices1.3%0.7%14%
Spot Market Rates in a Holding Pattern

Reefer Demand Picks Up

Jul 31 – Aug 6 – Prices held steady for vans and reefers on the spot market, despite falling fuel surcharges, while the national flatbed rate added 1¢. Load availability slipped, but reefer demand was up, as the back-to-school grocery season coincides with late summer harvests.

Last update: 8/9/2016 – Next update: 8/16/2016

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The Most Accurate Freight Rates

DAT RateView is an innovative online tool that puts real-time spot market and current contract freight rates at your fingertips. Rates are based on $28 billion of actual transactions—what brokers and shippers are actually paying carriers. There are two ways to buy RateView: as a standalone cloud-based software service, or as an integrated solution on some load board packages.

 

DAT News

Truck Engine Repair

7 Signs Your Truck’s Engine Might Give Up on You

By CAG Truck Capital

Trucking is tough. Anyone who knows a trucker is well aware of the long hours and hard work involved in providing for your family. Your truck is your livelihood, and when yours starts creeping towards the million mile mark, it’s easy to get blindsided by an engine that gives up on you. While it’s painful to be down, it’s always better to have it happen on your terms. Keep an eye out for these warning signs, and you’ll avoid getting stuck on the side of the road.

  1. Low Fuel Economy

Are you spending more at the pump? When your engine needs help, poor fuel economy can be one of the signs. Worn or damaged injectors can be a likely cause.

  1. Loss of Engine Power

Does your engine give you less? Is your truck not pulling the same? Is your top speed a fraction of what it once was? It’s possible that you’ve lost cylinder compression. Piston rings, valves, or the head gasket can cause your truck to lose its muscle.

  1. Increased Oil Consumption

Always checking your oil? Are you constantly adding more between oil changes, fearing that you’ll run dry? Your engine might be leaking or burning oil, caused by issues with your piston rings or cylinder liner.

  1. Blue or Black Exhaust

Has the exhaust from your truck taken a different color? Blue or black exhaust tells you that you’re either burning oil or the fuel environment in your engine is too rich or lean. This can be caused by issues with your piston rings, injectors or cylinder liner.

  1. Excessive Blow-By

Do you have excessive amounts of smoke or unburnt fuel blowing into your crankcase? This could be caused by wear on your piston liners or an issue with the steel rings.

  1. Poor Engine Brake Performance

Is your engine brake not working as well as it used to? Does going down a long hill make you more nervous every day? You could have lost cylinder compression. Piston rings and the cylinder liner could be the cause.

  1. Engine Knocking

Does something sound a bit out of the ordinary? Did the hum your engine normally produces get replaced with something terrible? This could mean that your combustion timing might be off or oil contamination. Engine knocking could be caused by worn or damaged liner seals, main bearings or piston skirt.

It might be tempting to keep going when your engine is giving you these warning signs but continuing on could cause catastrophic engine failure. Listen to your truck, and avoid getting an unrepairable issue like a cracked engine block. Finding a nationally certified CAT, Cummins, Detroit, Volvo, Mack or PACCAR repair shop can help give you a quick answer and let you service your truck on your terms instead of being forced into a tough situation. Peace of mind is important to everyone, so ensure that your business keeps rolling without unexpected down time.

Established in 1984, CAG Truck Capital helps customers of all credit types get the financing they need to keep their business going. CAG Truck Capital works with customers looking to either purchase a truck or finance big repairs such as engine overhauls.

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* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

 

DAT News

Freight Business

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jul 24 – 30 vs.
Jul 17 – 23
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads+3.5%16%+18%
Spot Market Capacity5.0%6.6%9.7%
Van Load-To-Truck+11%2.6%+60%
Van Rates (Spot)0.6%+1.2%9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+4.9%20%+6.6%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.5%2.0%9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+18%8.4%+16%
Reefer Rates (Spot)1.5%2.0%9.0%
Fuel Prices1.3%0.7%14%
Surprise! July Van Rates Exceed June Averages

Demand Rises at Month’s End

Jul 24 – 30 – More loads were available as July ended, so load-to-truck ratios rose for vans, reefers and flatbeds. Van rates lost a penny and reefer rates dropped 3¢ per mile for the week, but flatbeds added 1¢. The big surprise: the monthly average rate for vans in July topped June levels by 2¢.
Last update: 8/2/2016 – Next update: 8/9/2016

Fuel Prices
-1.3%$2.35 / gallon

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DAT News

Reefer load volumes continued to drop seasonally, especially in Southern California. Reefer prices are also lower than they were in June, but that’s normal for this time of year. The good news is it’s happening slower than it did in 2015.

Below is a look at some of the biggest price changes for spot market reefer freight last week.

All rates include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.


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

RISING

Chicago reefer volumes have been building up for a while, and outbound rates finally started to improve last week.

  • Chicago to Atlanta paid ▲14¢ more for an average of $2.20/mile
  • Green Bay to Minneapolis rose ▲14¢, to $1.90/mile
  • Reefer rates and volumes were up slightly in Dallas
  • Southern California lagged, but volume is rising in Sacramento. Hopefully that’ll lead to some higher rates this week

FALLING

Rates are still falling out of Florida, and California prices have also started tapering off.

  • Lakeland, FL to Charlotte rates plunged ▼28¢ to just $1.18/mile. The lane from Lakeland to Atlanta also lost ▼16¢
  • Atlanta to Philadelphia lost another ▼17¢, to $2.36/mile
  • Outbound rates slipped across the board in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Ontario, but prices are otherwise holding up pretty well
  • L.A. to Portland, OR lost ▼18¢, but it’s still paying an average of $2.43/mile
  • Fresno to Denver dropped ▼14¢ to $2.42/mile

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DAT News

Truck Loads for Owner Operators

DAT Trendlines

               Powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jul 17 – 23 vs.
Jul 10 – 16
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads5.3%+29%+0.8%
Spot Market Capacity1.2%7.6%1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck5.0%+63%+22%
Van Rates (Spot)0.6%+5.2%13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+2.5%+7.5%20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+1.1%+1.6%11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck8.1%+65%2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot)1.0%+4.2%11%
Fuel Prices0.8%+4.7%16%
Demand Slips for Vans and Reefers in Mid-July Lull

Rates Drift Down

Jul 17 – 23 – Spot market demand and rates drifted down again last week for vans and reefers, a typical trend for mid-July. Flatbed rates edged up, however, compared to the previous week.

Last update: 7/26/2016 – Next update: 8/2/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.8%$2.38 / gallon

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DAT News

Drivers: Find Loads On the Road

More than 250,000 drivers have installed the DAT Trucker mobile app for iPhone and Android. The free trucker app provides drivers with all the services they need while on the road. Owner operators and carriers can access a limited number of nearby DAT Extended Network loads and get other community resources.

Already using our app?  Learn more about our services

DAT Trucker

Download the free trucker services app now!

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DAT News

Truck Loads Available

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jul 10 – 16 vs.
Jul 3 – 9
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads+6.6%+29%+0.8%
Spot Market Capacity+37%7.6%1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck26%+63%+22%
Van Rates (Spot)2.4%+5.2%13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck14%+7.5%20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+2.2%+1.6%11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck27%+65%2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot)2.0%+4.2%11%
Fuel Prices0.4%+4.7%16%
Van and Reefer Rates Fall From Seasonal High

Ratios Trend Downward

Jul 10 – 16 – Spot market demand and rates typically fall after July 4th, but that decline came a little later than usual this year. National average spot market rates for vans and reefers declined 4¢ per mile, after hitting their highest marks of the year in the previous week. Flatbed rates added 4¢.

Last update: 7/19/2016 – Next update: 7/26/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.40 / gallon

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DAT News

Where can I find more loads.

The Panama Canal opened a new lane for larger ships this week, and East Coast ports have been expanding efforts to attract Asian imports that would otherwise arrive on the West Coast. The canal expansion has run into plenty of obstacles along the way, and many East Coast ports still aren’t ready to accommodate the larger ships. 


Expansion at the Panama Canal, pictured above, has led to a business boom in South Carolina. Photo by Stan Shebs.

But the South Carolina freight market has already gotten a boost thanks to the expansion, and the industrial boom has been evident on DAT Load Boards. Greenville, SC, rose to 11th place for the number of van load posts last year, and its average load-to-truck ratio in 2015 was higher than any other “top 30” market. Last week’s load-to-truck ratio in Greenville rose to 7.4, well above the national average of 2.7 loads per truck. 

Warehouses and industrial parks continue to grow in and around Greenville and Spartanburg, according to the Wall Street Journal, and more goods are expected to arrive from the Port of Charleston, some 200 miles away. 

Cities from the Gulf Coast to New York are also trying to lure more Asian imports once the canal opens. Economists and developers say the Upstate’s low labor costs and acres of cheap, undeveloped land, give the region an edge. They also cite its manufacturing base, as the auto industry draws suppliers to locate closer to factories, and growing auto exports require bigger ocean vessels to reach customers around the world.

The expanded Panama Canal “is going to drive industry and create even more businesses there,” said Joel Sutherland, director of the Supply Chain Management Institute at the University of San Diego. “Having a regular flow of containers…will attract major manufacturing, then their suppliers, then their suppliers’ suppliers, and ultimately more people.”

The rates are also trending up. The top outbound lane from Greenville is a short hop over to Atlanta. That lane paid an average of $3.09 per mile last week, which is 20¢ higher than it was a month ago.

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DAT News

Most drivers spend 3 to 4 hours waiting to get loaded or unloaded, according to a DAT survey of 257 carriers and owner-operators. Of the carriers surveyed, 54% of them said they had to wait between 3 to 5 hours every time they’re at a shipper’s dock.

Another 9% said that they wait more than 5 hours on average.

You don’t have to crunch a lot of numbers to figure out how that’s bad for business.

motor carrier detention
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed

Detention fees usually range from $30 to $50 an hour after the driver has been detained for more than two hours, based on responses those same carriers plus 50 brokers who were also surveyed. And that’s if the carrier is actually lucky enough to collect a detention fee.

Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only paid detention when they were able to collect a fee from the shipper or consignee. When a broker is able to collect from the shipper, they were twice as likely to pay detention fees to the carrier.

But those fees are just a drop in the bucket compared to how much that detention time actually costs trucking companies. One owner-operator cited a $1,900 loss due to two loads he was unable to accept because of a lengthy detention at a receiver’s dock.

Get the full survey results.

DAT News

Trucking Freight Rates

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jul 3 – 9 vs.
Jun 26 – Jul 2
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads19%+29%+0.8%
Spot Market Capacity22%7.6%1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck+5.8%+63%+22%
Van Rates (Spot)+4.9%+5.2%13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck0.7%+7.5%20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)5.1%+1.6%11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+0.9%+65%2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+2.5%+4.2%11%
Fuel Prices0.1%+4.7%16%
Rates Continue to Rise for Vans and Reefers

July Freight Gets Strong Start

Jul 3 – 9 – Load-to-truck ratios and rates continued to rise last week for vans and reefers, which is not a typical trend for July. Flatbed rates declined, however.        Last update: 7/12/2016 – Next update: 7/19/2016

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DAT News

Truckload Rates

Today’s Truckload Rates Based on Actual Transactions

When you talk to brokers or shippers, do you know what the market rate is for the lanes where the loads are? When you put hundreds of thousands of miles each year on your trucks, if your average rate per mile is two cents too low, it’s a huge hit to your bottom line. That’s why having the most accurate freight rate data in the trucking industry matters. With DAT RateView™, carriers gain access to:

  • Real-time truckload rates for lanes throughout North America
  • Freight rates compiled from $28 billion in actual transactions
  • True broker-buy rates updated daily
  • Monthly contract rate averages by lane
 
Increase Revenue Per Loaded Mile
  • Get suggestions for triangle routing to improve revenue and asset utilization
  • Know where your truck capacity is most valuable with Hot Market Maps
  • Respond to RFPs with bids based on today’s rate, 30-day and 13-month lane histories

Download RateView Carrier Product Sheet

RateView Features Include:
  • View rates for the past 7- or 15-day period in popular lanes
  • Get 13-month historic rate data for thousands of lanes
  • Track rate trends lane by lane to predict and adjust for seasonal changes
  • See load-to-truck ratios on specific lanes based on rolling 30-day averages

DAT – News

Super Paying Truck Loads

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jun 26 – Jul 2 vs.
Jun 19 – 25
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads+10%+29%+0.8%
Spot Market Capacity+5.0%7.6%1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck+19%+63%+22%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.6%+5.2%13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck11%+7.5%20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.0%+1.6%11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+12%+65%2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.5%+4.2%11%
Fuel Prices0.4%+4.7%16%
Van and Reefer Rates Rise to Close Q2

Load Posts Increase Ahead of Holiday

Jun 26 – Jul 2 – Shippers rushed to move van and reefer loads before the end of the second quarter and the start of the July 4th weekend. Spot market rates rose for vans and reefers, but flatbed rates held steady for a third consecutive week.
Last update: 7/5/2016 – Next update: 7/12/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.42 / gallon

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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 TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jun 19 – 25 vs.
Jun 12 – 18
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads6.2%+4.0%18%
Spot Market Capacity9.3%+3.8%+11%
Van Load-To-Truck+2.8%+18%29%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.0%+3.4%17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck2.9%22%19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.0%+1.1%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+9.0%+23%42%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.0%+5.6%14%
Fuel Prices+0.0%+7.6%20%
Load-to-Truck Ratios Increase, But Rates Hold Steady

Rates Could Rise This Week, for Vans and Reefers

Jun 19 – 25 – National average rates held steady for vansreefers and flatbeds last week. An increase in the load-to-truck ratios for vans and reefers indicates that rates could rise this week, however, as the second quarter ends and a holiday weekend begins.

Last update: 6/28/2016 – Next update: 7/5/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.43 / gallon

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DAT News

Here are some of last week’s hot spots, where rates changed the most.

All rates include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.

Darker colored states above have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning there’s less competition for van freight in those states.

SOUTHEAST

Northbound loads boosted the Charlotte market, which finally caught up to where it was before Memorial Day.

  • Charlotte to Allentown, PA, surged ▲31¢ and paid an average of $2.58/mile
  • One backhaul lane heading back into Charlotte also paid a lot better: Philly to Charlotte rates added ▲17¢ to $1.31/mile
  • Memphis to Dallas went up to $2.05/mile

NORTHEAST

Since there are a lot of loads heading to the Northeast, it also means that a lot of trucks there are looking for loads out. That led to falling prices on a handful of lanes. 

  • Buffalo rates took the biggest hit last week, despite strong volumes
  • Buffalo to Allentown dropped ▼17¢ to $2.28/mile
  • Philadelphia to Buffalo also lost ▼12¢ and paid $2.00/mile on average 

WEST

Freight is still strong in Southern California. 

  • The lane from L.A. to Phoenix paid ▲14¢ better last week at $2.61/mile
  • Seattle and Denver are usually tough places to find loads, but last week they got worse. Load-to-truck ratios fell to just 0.6 loads per truck
  • Seattle to Eugene, OR, has been one of the better options for getting out of Seattle, but that lane fell ▼19¢ last week to $1.91/mile

MIDWEST

Columbus and Chicago have been on a big upswing this month but both stalled a bit last week. A bright spot was the lane from Columbus to Buffalo, which was up ▲17¢ to a strong $2.76/mile.

SOUTH CENTRAL

No big rate changes outbound from Texas last week. Prices rose slightly in Houston and fell a little out of Dallas.

 

See what other truckers got paid on the lanes you run by signing up for TruckersEdge Enhanced. You’ll see the average prices paid on more than 65,000 lanes, based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jun 12 – 18 vs.
Jun 5 – 11
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads2.7%+4.0%18%
Spot Market Capacity+9.7%+3.8%+11%
Van Load-To-Truck12%+18%29%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.0%+3.4%17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck10%22%19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+1.0%+1.1%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck11%+23%42%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+1.0%+5.6%14%
Fuel Prices0.2%+7.6%20%
Reefer and Flatbed Rates Edge Up

Upward Rate Trend Continues

Jun 12 – 18 – National average rates rose 2¢ per mile for reefers and flatbeds last week, but the average van rate was unchanged. Van traffic and rates increased for northbound loads leaving major Southeastern markets.

Last update: 6/21/2016 – Next update: 6/28/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.2%$2.46 / gallon

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
Jun 5 – 11 vs.
May 29 – Jun 4
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads+36%+4.0%18%
Spot Market Capacity+12%+3.8%+11%
Van Load-To-Truck+23%+18%29%
Van Rates (Spot)0.6%+3.4%17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+10.0%22%19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.0%+1.1%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+29%+23%42%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.5%+5.6%14%
Fuel Prices+1.0%+7.6%20%
Rates Remain High for Vans and Reefers

Ratios Rise During Inspection Blitz

Jun 5 – 11 – Load-to-truck ratios rose for all equipment types in the first full week after Memorial Day, which also included the annual Roadcheck inspection blitz. National average rates edged down 1¢ for vans last week, and reefer rates increased 1¢, following big gains in the previous week for both equipment types.

Last update: 6/14/2016 – Next update: 6/21/2016

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry TrendsWEEKMONTHYEAR
May 29 – Jun 4 vs.
May 22 – 28
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads9.0%+4.0%18%
Spot Market Capacity26%+3.8%+11%
Van Load-To-Truck+31%+18%29%
Van Rates (Spot)+5.2%+3.4%17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+30%22%19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.5%+1.1%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+12%+23%42%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+3.2%+5.6%14%
Fuel Prices+1.1%+7.6%20%
Rates and Diesel Prices Continue to Climb

Ratios Rise After the Holiday   Last update: 6/7/2016 – Next update: 6/14/2016

May 29 – June 4  – Spot market rates continued their upward trend after Memorial Day. Last week was a 4-day work week, which would normally account for a 20% decline in load posts, but load availability was only down 9% last week. That led to higher load-to-truck ratios for vans, reefers, and flatbeds.

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDSWEEKMONTHYEAR
May 22 – 28 vs.
May 15 – 21
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads+8.5%+0.2%28%
Spot Market Capacity0.1%3.6%+1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck+16%5.9%46%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.7%0.7%19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck7.6%+23%+1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.5%+2.2%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+25%10%54%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.0%+0.6%16%
Fuel Prices+2.6%+2.9%23%
Van Rates Climb on High-Volume Lanes


Last update: 5/31/2016 – Next update: 6/7/2016

Fuel Surcharge Plays a Role

May 22- 28 – Van rates recovered 1¢ per mile last week, due to big rate increases on the highest-volume lanes. Flatbeds also added 1¢, but reefer rates were unchanged as a national average. The fuel surcharge also played a role, as diesel prices continue to climb.

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

Learn about RateView Get Trendlines Updates

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DAT News

How to Get the Most Out of Our Free Trucker App

By Michael Tupper, Product Manager, DAT Solutions

If you use the DAT Trucker™ mobile app for Android, you probably noticed some big changes recently. We redesigned the app to work the same way that most other mapping apps do. More importantly, now DAT Trucker lets drivers find what they need faster and easier. Based on your location, you can find truck stops, rest areas, fuel prices, Walmarts, nearby loads, truck-friendly hotels and more.

We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from new users who love the app, but truckers who’ve been using the app for a long time are telling us that they’ve had trouble finding the tools they used in the old version.

Everything is still there, and after you first get the app set up with your personalized settings, you can find what you’re looking for in one click.

When you open the app, there’s a map based on your phone’s GPS location. The markers show locations that match your search results – just like in Google Maps. You can see everything at once, or choose whether you want to see truck stops, rest areas, Walmarts or more. Tap the magnifying glass in the top-right corner to search other cities.

If you tap the triangle icon circled in the screen above, you can choose which categories you want to search: Truck stops, rest areas, etc. The app will remember what you select and do the same search anytime you open the app, based on your GPS location. Once you have it set to your preferences, you’ll find what you’re looking for faster than you could with the old version.

If you want to see a list of search results like you did in the old version, you can tap “list” from the map screen. Tap on the sort options (circled in the picture), and you can sort the list by name, distance, fuel price and more. Also, this is often the most useful way to see search results if you’re in a place where the internet connection isn’t strong.

Trying to find a parking spot? From the list, you can get more details about each business. Tap on a truck stop to see how many parking spots they have and get info about showers, laundry, scales and much more.

You can still search for nearby loads. Just tap on the main menu in the top-left corner and choose “Find loads nearby.” You might see fewer results than you used to because the old version showed loads for every equipment type. The new version shows loads that match the truck and trailer in your profile, so the loads are more relevant to what you’re looking for.

You can also tap the DAT Trucker icon in the bottom right corner and choose what you want to do. For example, you can tap “Fuel up” and find the cheapest nearby diesel prices, or “Sleep” to find truck-friendly hotels.

Another advantage of the new version is that it lets our software developers make updates faster and make changes based on your suggestions. For example, many of you pointed out that we didn’t include landscape mode, which flips the display when you turn the phone sideways. That’ll be fixed in an update coming soon, so keep sending suggestions.

Get the DAT Trucker mobile app in the Google Play store or the Apple App Store.

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.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in April, 2016.

DAT News

Houston is mostly a backhaul market, meaning that loads going into the city usually pay more than loads going out. There are some popular lanes out of Houston that do pay headhaul rates, though, like Houston to New Orleans, San Antonio, or Texarkana. You can use that to your advantage when planning a roundtrip.

Haul Two Loads on the Return Trip Instead of One

If you upgrade your load board subscription to DAT Express, you get our TriHaul tool, which gives you suggestions for triangular routes that pay better than a regular there-and-back roundtrip. You can also research the average rates paid on those lanes, so you can decide if the extra money is worth the time it’ll take for the extra pick and drop.

Let’s say you’ve got a load booked for Atlanta to Houston, which has paid $1.60/mile on average for the past week. The average rate for loads heading back from Houston to Atlanta is only $1.37/mile.

If you can fit it in your schedule, you’d be better off hauling a load from Houston to St. Louis or to Cape Girardeau, MO, about 120 miles to the south. The average rate on that trip is $1.44/mile, which isn’t a whole lot better, but loads going from Cape Girardeau to Atlanta have paid $1.98/mile on average. You’d boost your loaded miles from 1,600 up to almost 2,000 miles, and the TriHaul will pay $869 better than the roundtrip. That gives you more than $3,200 for 2,000 miles.

Some truckers make it a point to drive 55 all the time to save fuel, but the speed limit is at least 70 in all the states you pass through in this TriHaul. So if it’s safe and economical for you to drive faster, you could get back to Atlanta with enough hours for another quick roundtrip, maybe to Charlotte. That’s another $1,000 at today’s rates, to finish your week on a high note.

 

Get the TriHaul tool by upgrading your load board subscription to DAT Express.

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDSWEEKMONTHYEAR
May 15 – 21 vs.
May 8 – 14
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads3.7%+0.2%28%
Spot Market Capacity5.6%3.6%+1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck+1.4%5.9%46%
Van Rates (Spot)0.6%0.7%19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+4.7%+23%+1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.0%+2.2%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+18%10.0%54%
Reefer Rates (Spot)0.5%+0.6%16%
Fuel Prices+1.1%+2.9%23%
Tighter Capacity Could Spark Rate Increase


Last update: 5/24/2016 – Next update: 5/31/2016

Rates Dip as Ratios Rise

May 15 – 21 – Van and reefer rates edged down 1¢ per mile, and flatbed rates were unchanged as a national average. Load-to-truck ratios rose, however, so rates may increase this week.

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

Learn about RateView Get Trendlines Updates

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DAT News

Below are your best bets for finding loads fast on DAT Load Boards this week. All the cities listed below are in the top 5 for load posts and have load-to-truck ratios that are above the national average for that equipment type, which means your truck is in higher demand in each of these places.

VANS

National load-to-truck ratio: 1.6 van loads available per truck 

The national average spot market van rates finally rose last week. Rates held steady for weeks, even though load posts had been going up at a pretty steady clip. Produce season is also keeping a lot more reefer trucks busy, which helps vans, too. That’s because carriers with reefers sometimes compete for van loads when there aren’t as many reefer loads to go around.

REEFERS

National load-to-truck ratio: 3.4 reefer loads per truck

Notice that Florida isn’t on this list any more. Reefer volumes are slipping in Lakeland and Miami, and those markets aren’t short on trucks now. If you’re in the Southeast, Georgia produce is still going strong. Otherwise, a lot of reefer activity has shifted to the West.

FLATBED

National load-to-truck ratio: 14.7 flatbed loads per truck

Flatbed rates have been trending up in the big Texas markets for the past month, but Houston is the one to make the top 5 for load posts. Places like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Raleigh are usually busier this time of year, but they’ve had a quiet spring.

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDSWEEKMONTHYEAR
May 8 – 14 vs.
May 1 – 7
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads3.9%+0.2%28%
Spot Market Capacity+12%3.6%+1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck8.3%5.9%46%
Van Rates (Spot)1.9%0.7%19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck22%+23%+1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.0%+2.2%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck18%10.0%54%
Reefer Rates (Spot)1.1%+0.6%16%
Fuel Prices+0.2%+2.9%23%
Mid-May Rates Exceed April Averages


Last update: 5/17/2016 – Next update: 5/24/2016

Van Rates Lose 3¢

May 8 – 14 – Van rates lost 3¢ of the previous week’s 7¢ increase, and reefer rates declined 2¢ after rising 11¢ in the first week of May. Flatbed rates were unchanged, week over week.

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

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDSWEEKMONTHYEAR
May 1 – 7 vs.
Apr 24 – 30
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads+5.1%+0.2%28%
Spot Market Capacity+1.9%3.6%+1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck+11%5.9%46%
Van Rates (Spot)+4.7%0.7%19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck11%+23%+1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.5%+2.2%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+5.9%10.0%54%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+6.1%+0.6%16%
Fuel Prices+3.1%+2.9%23%
Rates Rise Sharply for Vans and Reefers


Last update: 5/10/2016 – Next update: 5/17/2016

Loads Abound in Sun Belt

May 1 – 7 – Boom! Rates rose sharply last week, following a steady increase in demand for vans and reefers, especially in the Sun Belt: California, Texas and the Southeast. By contrast, flatbed demand and rates held steady.

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

Learn about RateView Get Trendlines Updates

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDSWEEKMONTHYEAR
Apr 24 – 30 vs.
Apr 17 – 23
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads+8.8%+0.2%28%
Spot Market Capacity1.9%3.6%+1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck+17%5.9%46%
Van Rates (Spot)+0.0%0.7%19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck+6.4%+23%+1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot)+0.0%+2.2%12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck+22%10.0%54%
Reefer Rates (Spot)+0.6%+0.6%16%
Fuel Prices+1.5%+2.9%23%
Late-Blooming Spring Freight Yields 9% More Loads


Last update: 5/3/2016 – Next update: 5/10/2016

Reefer Rates Rise

Apr 24 – 30 – More loads were offered for all equipment types, and reefer rates began to climb, in a long-awaited blossoming of the spring freight season.

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