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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 14 – 20 vs.
May 7 – 13
Apr 2017 vs.
Mar 2017
Apr 2017 vs.
Apr 2016
Spot Market Loads +5.4% 0.3% +91%
Spot Market Capacity 2.9% 12% 6.6%
Van Load-To-Truck +12% +8.4% +128%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.6% +2.5% +11%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +3.8% +20% +103%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.0% +8.9%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +17% +6.1% +134%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% +3.7% +7.8%
Fuel Prices 0.8% +1.1% +20%
Spot Market Rates Trending Upward

Van Demand Ratio Hits New Peak

May 14 – 20 – Last week, the national average van rate added another 1¢ per mile, as the load-to-truck ratio hit a new high at 3.7 van loads per truck. Reefer activity is ramping up in California, and the average reefer rate remains at its highest point since January. Flatbed demand also continues to be strong, and the national flatbed rate gained 1¢.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 5/24/2017 – Next update: 5/31/2017

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 7 – 13 vs.
Apr 30 – May 6
Apr 2017 vs.
Mar 2017
Apr 2017 vs.
Apr 2016
Spot Market Loads 1.5% 0.3% +91%
Spot Market Capacity +1.8% 12% 6.6%
Van Load-To-Truck 0.2% +8.4% +128%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.2% +2.5% +11%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 6.2% +20% +103%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 0.5% +2.0% +8.9%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 5.6% +6.1% +134%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +1.0% +3.7% +7.8%
Fuel Prices 0.7% +1.1% +20%
Short Haul Rates Climb, While Long Haul Van Rates Slip

Spring Harvests Boost Reefer Rates

May 7 – 13 – Last week, the national average van rate retreated 2¢ per mile after hitting its highest point since January the previous week. Likewise, the national flatbed rate dipped 1¢ last week after reaching its highest level in nearly two years the week before. Spring produce coming out of California and Central Florida helped boost the  average reefer rate up 2¢ per mile.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 5/17/2017 – Next update: 5/24/2017

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Apr 30 – May 6 vs.
Apr 23 – 29
Apr 2017 vs.
Mar 2017
Apr 2017 vs.
Apr 2016
Spot Market Loads 5.9% 0.3% +91%
Spot Market Capacity 0.4% 12% 6.6%
Van Load-To-Truck 3.0% +8.4% +128%
Van Rates (Spot) +1.8% +2.5% +11%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 11% +20% +103%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +1.0% +2.0% +8.9%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +11% +6.1% +134%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +1.5% +3.7% +7.8%
Fuel Prices 0.5% +1.1% +20%
Van and Reefer Rates Hit Highest Marks in Months

Spring Harvests Increase Demand for Reefers

Apr 30 – May 6 – Rates rose for all trailer types last week, though there was a slight drop in load-to-truck ratios for vans and flatbeds. Van rates and reefer rates increased 3¢ per mile nationally, each hitting their highest marks since January. The national flatbed rates rose to its highest average in nearly two years.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 5/10/2017 – Next update: 5/17/2017

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Apr 23 – 29 vs.
Apr 16 – 22
Apr 2017 vs.
Mar 2017
Apr 2017 vs.
Apr 2016
Spot Market Loads +1.6% 0.7% +91%
Spot Market Capacity +8.4% 12% 6.8%
Van Load-To-Truck 4.2% +8.0% +127%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +2.5% +11%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 7.0% +19% +102%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.0% +8.9%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 13% +6.1% +134%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% +3.7% +7.8%
Fuel Prices 0.1% +1.1% +20%
Rates Rise in April for All Trailer Types

Load-to-Truck Ratios Exceed Seasonal Norms

Apr 23 – 29 – Rates rose for all trailer types in the month of April, and load-to-truck ratios were above seasonal norms, signaling a strong start to the second quarter. Last week’s rates held steady for reefers and flatbeds, while van rates dipped 1¢ per mile.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 5/3/2017 – Next update: 5/10/2017

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Apr 16 – 22 vs.
Apr 9 – 15
Mar 2017 vs.
Feb 2017
Mar 2017 vs.
Mar 2016
Spot Market Loads +10% +46% +92%
Spot Market Capacity 1.5% +12% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +11% +30% +98%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +0.6% +7.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +20% +38% +109%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +3.6% +9.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +2.4% +31% +99%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% +0.5% +5.1%
Fuel Prices +0.6% 0.6% +22%
National Average Rates Hold Firm

Ratios Rise for Each Trailer Type

Apr 16 – 22 – The national averages for vanreefer, and flatbed rates continued to hold steady, while prices in many major freight markets continued their slow-and-steady springtime climb. Demand for flatbeds was especially high last week, as the load-to-truck ratio hit 47.8 loads posted for every truck posted.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 4/25/2017 – Next update: 5/2/2017

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1. ELD Mandate

Of course, Electronic Logging Devices are what’s on most people’s minds. Come Dec. 18, every carrier will be required to have ELDs in their trucks, which the driver will use for their hours-of-service (HOS) logs. Some drivers think it’s an overreach by Big Brother, while other owner-operators see it as an added expense and obstacle that could put them out of business. Most hope that the Trump administration will do away with it.

So far, we haven’t seen anything to suggest that it’s going anywhere. President Trump’s executive order to freeze new regulations applied to proposed rules like speed limiters, but the ELD mandate is already law. Most of the big carriers have been using ELDs for years – organizations like the ATA support the ELD mandate – so it’s small carriers and owner-operators who will be most affected by the law.

Back in Novemeber, Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA, pointed out to Overdrive Magazine that the political climate hasn’t changed so much since the ELD mandate was first introduced.

“We’ve had Republican control of both the Senate and the House for quite a while,” he explained.  “Unfortunately, the ELD rule was pushed through by Republicans in Congress, even some Tea Party Republicans.”

That said, OOIDA recently filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court to try to stop the rule.

2. Carrier Safety Fitness Determination

The FMCSA announced that they’re postponing the new rules that would measure a carrier’s Safety Fitness Determination. Most carrier associations opposed the SFD because the guidelines were based on safety data they considered to be flawed.

3. New Food Safety Rules

New standards for transporting food went into effect in April. For now, the new rules only apply to large companies, and everyone else has until April 2018 to comply. You can click here to see if your company is exempt.

4. HOS: 34-Hour Restart

The 2013 version of the 34-hour restart rule required that drivers be off duty for two periods from 1:00 to 5:00 AM in order to reset their hours of service. You could also only use the restart once per week. A recent study of the rules determined that they weren’t any safer, so those are now gone for good.

5. Final Stage of MC Numbers Rule Suspended

The Unified Registration System will eliminate docket numbers (MC numbers) for carriers and brokers (FF numbers, etc), identifying them solely by their DOT number. While NEW carriers and brokers are now required to use the URS, the final phase will apply to EXISTING carriers and brokers. That final stage is on hold for now.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Apr 9 – 15 vs.
Apr 2 – 8
Mar 2017 vs.
Feb 2017
Mar 2017 vs.
Mar 2016
Spot Market Loads 2.4% +46% +92%
Spot Market Capacity 0.5% +12% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck 6.4% +30% +98%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +0.6% +7.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +1.5% +38% +109%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +3.6% +9.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 4.1% +31% +99%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% +0.5% +5.1%
Fuel Prices +1.0% 0.6% +22%
Demand Slows Just Before Easter

Vans Rates Dip 1¢, Reefer Rates Gain 1¢

Apr 9 – 15 – Spot market volumes usually fall in the week before Easter, with many shippers closing down early on Good Friday and truck drivers trying to get home for the holiday weekend. Some drivers may have settled on lower rates to get home, and the national average van rate dipped 1¢. Flatbed rates held steady, while agricultural markets pushed reefer rates up 1¢.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 4/19/2017 – Next update: 4/26/2017

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Apr 2 – 8 vs.
Mar 26 – Apr 1
Mar 2017 vs.
Feb 2017
Mar 2017 vs.
Mar 2016
Spot Market Loads 1.7% +46% +92%
Spot Market Capacity +1.5% +12% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck 8.0% +30% +98%
Van Rates (Spot) +3.7% +0.6% +7.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 3.6% +38% +109%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +2.0% +3.6% +9.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +1.3% +31% +99%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +3.2% +0.5% +5.1%
Fuel Prices +0.9% 0.6% +22%
Spring Brings Higher Spot Market Rates

Vans, Reefers, Flats See Increases

Apr 2 – 8 – Although freight volumes dipped last week compared to the previous week’s end-of-quarter surge, rates continued to climb. Spring produce is on the move, resulting in an increase in reefer rates, and high load-to-truck ratios boosted flatbed rates.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 4/12/2017 – Next update: 4/19/2017

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Mar 26 – Apr 1 vs.
Mar 19 – 25
Mar 2017 vs.
Feb 2017
Mar 2017 vs.
Mar 2016
Spot Market Loads +7.1% +46% +92%
Spot Market Capacity 4.9% +12% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +16% +30% +98%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +0.6% +7.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +14% +38% +109%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +3.6% +9.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +6.9% +31% +99%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% +0.5% +5.1%
Fuel Prices 0.3% 0.6% +22%
End of Q1 Boosts Spot Market Demand

Still No Spring Surge in Rates

Mar 26 – Apr 1 – The end of Q1 led to a flurry of activity on DAT Load Boards last Friday. That pushed rates up in markets that had otherwise been pretty quiet this spring. The normal seasonality has been a bit muted so far this year, yet load-to-truck ratios increased for all three truck types last week. National average van rates were unchanged compared to the previous week, but both reefer rates and flatbed rates gained 1¢ per mile.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 4/5/2017 – Next update: 4/12/2017

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NPR recently ran a story where they listed the most common job for every state for each year, from 1978 to 2014. Truck drivers are everywhere. 

Source: IPUMS-CPS/ University Of Minnesota
Credit: Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Not all of those truck driver jobs are over-the-road, though. The story was based on census information, and the government categorizes delivery people as truck drivers, too. 

Still, trucking has had more staying power than a lot of jobs. NPR noted a few of the reasons:

“Driving a truck has been immune to two of the biggest trends affecting U.S. jobs: globalization and automation. A worker in China can’t drive a truck in Ohio, and machines can’t drive cars (yet).”

In 2014, truck driver was the most common job in 28 states. At its peak in 2004, truck driving was the most common job in a whopping 36 states. 

In North Carolina, it’s been the most common job every year since 1986, the longest current streak. Not too surprising, since Charlotte is one of the most popular cities for load posts on DAT TruckersEdge.

Carriers Hire the Most Truck Drivers in 5 Years

While the map above is for 2014, it seems safe to say that a 2017 map would still look pretty similar. In February, trucking fleets added 10,600 jobs, the biggest increase in five years, according to the Wall Street Journal. This comes a month after fleets cut their payrolls by 5,100 jobs, so part of that increase was because fleets were adding back the jobs that went away in January.

Still, it’s a strong sign of growth for the trucking industry, so driving a truck is going to stay a popular job for a while yet.

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.

 

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Mar 19 – 25 vs.
Mar 12 – 18
Feb 2017 vs.
Jan 2017
Feb 2017 vs.
Feb 2016
Spot Market Loads 0.4% 8.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity +5.7% +4.7% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck 5.5% 25% +79%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% 3.0% +5.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 4.4% +16% +155%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.1% +7.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 4.1% 35% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% 4.6% +3.3%
Fuel Prices 1.0% 0.5% +29%
Lower Fuel Surcharges Cause Dip in Van, Reefer Rates

Capacity Still Loose in Many Places

Mar 19 – 25 – Trucks were ready to go after the winter storm from a couple weeks ago had cleared out, so even though volumes picked up on many of the top van lanes, there was enough capacity to keep rates from rising. Lower fuel surcharges caused the national averages for van and reefer rates to dip 1¢ per mile. The national average flatbed rate rose 1¢.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 3/29/2017 – Next update: 4/5/2017

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Mar 12 – 18 vs.
Mar 5 – 11
Feb 2017 vs.
Jan 2017
Feb 2017 vs.
Feb 2016
Spot Market Loads +8.3% 8.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity 3.4% +4.7% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck +23% 25% +79%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.6% 3.0% +5.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +5.4% +16% +155%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.1% +7.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +16% 35% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% 4.6% +3.3%
Fuel Prices 0.6% 0.5% +29%
Van Rates Add 1¢, as Reefers and Flats Hold Steady

Load-to-Truck Ratios Climb

Mar 12 – 18 – A late winter storm stalled freight activity in and out of East Coast markets. The week began with a rush to move freight out ahead of the snowfall. During the storm, there was a lull, and some major roads were closed. By the end of the week, shippers rushed to catch up, at higher rates. Load-to-truck ratios rose for all three equipment types, but only the national average van rate edged up 1¢ per mile. Reefer rates and flatbed rates were unchanged, week over week.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 3/22/2017 – Next update: 3/29/2017

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It’s official: The 2013 HOS restart rules are no more.

The 2013 version of the 34-hour restart rule required drivers to be off-duty for two periods from 1AM to 5AM before they could go back to work, and the restart could only be used once per week.

A poll of DAT TruckersEdge readers showed that 73% of them use the 34-hour restart on a weekly basis, so the 1-5AM provision forced a lot of truckers to operate during high-traffic times. That led to a big loss in productivity for most carriers.

Those rules were suspended in December of 2014, but whether or not that suspension was going to be permanent had been a question hanging over the industry ever since.

The FMCSA and Virginia Tech conducted a safety review to determine whether or not to go back to the 2013 version of the restart rules. Ultimately, they found that the 2013 version of the restart rule wasn’t any safer than the version of the rule that everyone is using now, so the current version of the rule is what’s going to stay in place.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Mar 5 – 11 vs.
Feb 26 – Mar 4
Feb 2017 vs.
Jan 2017
Feb 2017 vs.
Feb 2016
Spot Market Loads +1.3% 8.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity 0.4% +4.7% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck 2.3% 25% +79%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.8% 3.0% +5.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +3.6% +16% +155%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 0.5% +2.1% +7.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +1.2% 35% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% 4.6% +3.3%
Fuel Prices 0.8% 0.5% +29%
Rates Dip For Vans, Reefers, Flatbeds

Flatbed Load-to-Truck Ratio Still Climbing

Mar 5 – 11 – Load-to-truck ratios increased for reefers and flatbeds last week, with flatbeds continuing a 6-week climb. That, however, did not translate into rate increases. Last week the national average van rate dropped 3¢ per mile, while both reefer rates and flatbed rates slipped 1¢ per mile.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 3/15/2017 – Next update: 3/22/2017

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Apply for a Loan

Before you apply for a loan here’s what you should do:

1. Write a Business Plan

Your loan request should be based on and accompanied by a complete business plan. This document is the single most important planning activity that you can perform. A business plan is more than a device for getting financing; it is the vehicle that makes you examine, evaluate, and plan for all aspects of your business. A business plan’s existence proves to your banker that you are doing all the right activities. Once you’ve put the plan together, write a two-page executive summary. You’ll need it if you are asked to send “a quick write-up.”

2. Have an accountant prepare historical financial statements.

You can’t talk about the future without accounting for your past. Internally generated statements are OK, but your bank wants the comfort of knowing an independent expert has verified the information. In addition, you must understand your statement and be able to explain how your operation works and how your finances stand up to industry norms and standards.

3. Line up references.

Your banker may want to talk to your suppliers, customers, potential partners or your team of professionals, among others. When a loan officer asks for permission to contact references, promptly answer with names and numbers; don’t leave him or her waiting for a week.

Walking into a bank and talking to a loan officer will always be something of a stressful situation. Preparation for and thorough understanding of this evaluation process is essential to minimize the stressful variables and optimize your potential to qualify for the funding you seek.

DAT News & Blogs

The number of loads available on the spot market last month was also up more than 100% compared to February 2016, which is a pretty good sign that the freight recession really is over. Rates are still low in some places, but in general, things are trending upward.

Load-to-truck ratios are highest for vans in the darker red areas on the Hot States Map, above.

There were a lot more van loads available out of Chicago and Los Angeles. Even though it wasn’t enough to turn those states dark in the Hot States Map above, don’t be surprised if rates are up out of those places soon. Load counts slipped in Houston, but that market has been relatively strong all winter long. It closed the week strong, too, and the load-to-truck ratio hit 5.6 on Friday, compared to the 2.9 van loads per truck for the rest of the country. Rates got the biggest boosts out of Memphis, Atlanta and Seattle.

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

RISING

Buffalo has had a lackluster month. Since the freight coming out didn’t pay very well, inbound lanes paid more.

  • Philadelphia to Buffalo was up 18¢ to $2.13/mile
  • Columbus to Buffalo rose 17¢ to $2.57/mile
  • Chicago to Buffalo rates were up 15¢ to an average of $2.17/mile
  • Out West, the lane from Stockton to Denver recovered 13¢ to pay $1.82/mile on average
  • Memphis to Chicago was also up 12¢ at $1.76/mile

FALLING

Only one major van lane was down more than 10¢: Stockton to Salt Lake City dropped ▼18¢ to $1.92/mile

The freight market in L.A. finally started to improve, but that means some inbound lanes paid less. The lane from Chicago to L.A. fell ▼9¢ to just $1.17/mile. That lane competes a lot with rail, which also keeps the rates down.


Load-to-truck ratios are highest for reefers in the darker blue areas on the Hot States Map, above.

REEFER TRENDS

Reefer rates reversed course last week, too, though it was a bit slighter when compared to vans. Still, it’s good news considering the steady string of declines we had been seeing.

RISING

Volumes surged out of Miami. It’s still early for produce season in Florida, as evidenced by the light color in the Hot States Map. Volumes were also up big in McAllen, TX, down near the Mexican border. It was number 3 for reefer load posts on DAT load boards, behind Atlanta (1) and Elizabeth, NJ (2).

  • Usually when there’s an uptick in loads and rates out of Miami, it means that the inbound rate goes down — that wasn’t the case last week on the lane from Atlanta to Miami, which was up ▲15¢ to $2.58/mile
  • Dallas to Columbus was up ▲21¢ to $1.70/mile

The biggest spikes were on lanes out of Grand Rapids, but there aren’t a lot of loads on those lanes this time of year.

  • Grand Rapids to Cleveland jumped up ▲50¢ to $3.34/mile
  • Grand Rapids to Philly rose ▲38¢ to $2.88/mile

FALLING

California was still missing in action, and outbound rates slipped even lower out of Los Angeles. Recent rains have delayed strawberry harvests in much of the state, so those shipments are still a few weeks away.

Out East, two lanes out of Northern New Jersey took a hit last week

  • Elizabeth, NJ, to Boston fell ▼15¢ to $3.40/mile
  • Elizabeth to Lakeland, FL was down ▼12¢ to $1.71/mile


Load-to-truck ratios are highest for flatbeds in the darker green areas on the Hot States Map, above.

FLATBED TRENDS

Demand for flatbed trucks continued to climb ahead of where it normally is for this time of year. Even California joined the party last week, with higher than normal activity.

RISING

Rates improved almost everywhere, and port cities that had been down the week before rebounded last week. The biggest gains were in Atlanta, Memphis, and Baltimore.

  • Memphis to Dallas was up ▲39¢ to $2.74/mile, with a nice boost in volumes
  • Atlanta to Nashville also climbed ▲35¢ to $2.58/mile

FALLING

Pittsburgh rates and volumes didn’t hold after seeing a spike in the previous week.

  • The number of loads heading from Pittsburgh to Houston was down sharply, and rates came crashing back to earth at an average of $1.67/mile
  • Phoenix and Las Vegas volumes have been low, which is indicative of statewide trends in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.
  • Cleveland has also been a little softer than other major flatbed markets this winter
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Feb 26 – Mar 4 vs.
Feb 19 – 25
Feb 2017 vs.
Jan 2017
Feb 2017 vs.
Feb 2016
Spot Market Loads +17% 8.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity 3.9% +4.7% 1.8%
Van Load-To-Truck +25% 25% +79%
Van Rates (Spot) +2.5% 3.0% +5.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +19% +16% +155%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +3.1% +2.1% +7.1%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +30% 35% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% 4.6% +3.3%
Fuel Prices +0.0% 0.5% +29%
Rates Rise, and Load Counts Keep Climbing

Load-to-Truck Ratios Increase Sharply

Feb 26 – Mar 4 – Spot market demand has been building, and last week that led to rate increases for each equipment type. The national average van rate increased 4¢ per mile, reefer rates added 1¢, and flatbed rates jumped 6¢. Load-to-truck ratios were also up sharply for each trailer type.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 3/8/2017 – Next update: 3/15/2017

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.58 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Feb 19 – 25 vs.
Feb 12 – 18
Jan 2017 vs.
Dec 2016
Jan 2017 vs.
Jan 2016
Spot Market Loads +1.5% +0.6% +100%
Spot Market Capacity +1.1% +5.2% +5.2%
Van Load-To-Truck 6.6% 13% +76%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% 2.9% +1.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +8.0% +14% +164%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% 2.6% +1.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 5.5% 10% +62%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% 1.5% +3.2%
Fuel Prices +0.4% +2.8% +20%
Flatbed Freight Remains Strong for February

Ratios Slip for Vans and Reefers

Feb 19 – 25 – Flatbed freight demand continued to climb last week, with load-to-truck ratios rising 8%. Meanwhile, the late February lull for vans and reefers led to lower ratios, with the national average reefer rate down another 1¢, The national averages for van and flatbed rates were unchanged compared to the previous week.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 3/1/2017 – Next update: 3/8/2017

Fuel Prices
+0.4%$2.58 / 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.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Feb 12 – 18 vs.
Feb 5 – 11
Jan 2017 vs.
Dec 2016
Jan 2017 vs.
Jan 2016
Spot Market Loads +4.0% +0.6% +100%
Spot Market Capacity 1.2% +5.2% +5.2%
Van Load-To-Truck +4.1% 13% +76%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% 2.9% +1.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +9.1% +14% +164%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% 2.6% +1.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 0.1% 10% +62%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% 1.5% +3.2%
Fuel Prices +0.4% +2.8% +20%
Van and Reefer Rates Dip 1¢

National Flatbed Rate Holds Steady

Feb 12 – 18 – Spot market volumes have stabilized as of late. Load-to-truck ratios were up for each trailer type last week, though it’s not yet enough to put pressure on rates. The national average for van and reefer rates dipped another 1¢, but the national flatbed rate held steady.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 2/22/2017 – Next update: 3/01/2017

Fuel Prices
+0.4%$2.57 / gallon
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Getloaded has been consolidated into DAT to create one gigantic super database.

More carriers to choose from

The consolidation of Getloaded carriers, plus DAT’s own growth, has resulted in a 36 percent increase in the number of carriers accessing DAT load boards compared to a year ago. The consolidation also diversifies DAT’s carrier base, as Getloaded has had a significant number of carriers moving flatbed and specialty freight, as well as hot shot and LTL loads.

Since 2015, DAT has doubled its carrier database to over 18,000 carriers with capacity exceeding 1.3 million trucks, by far the largest available capacity in the industry.

DAT and Getloaded are owned by the same parent company, but until recently the two have operated with independent databases. That meant that loads and trucks posted on one network were not seen on the other one. Getloaded customers have been transferred to the DAT platform, and the Getloaded platform has been retired.

Bigger is Better

Need a load board upgrade?

Learn more about DAT Power, DAT’s fastest and most advanced load board.

“In this case, bigger really is better. On the spot market, brokers want to connect with as many quality trucks that can deliver freight on a lane,” said Don Thornton, Senior Vice President at DAT.

It’s Mobile Too

All customers will benefit from DAT’s new mobile app, DAT Load Board for Truckers. It allows carriers to use their smartphones and tablets to find the same loads that they would using the desktop version of the load board. That’s a plus for brokers too, as they can reach carriers while they’re out on the road and looking for their next load.  The Android version is currently available in Google Play, and the iOS version is scheduled for early Spring.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Feb 5 – 11 vs.
Jan 29 – Feb 4
Jan 2017 vs.
Dec 2016
Jan 2017 vs.
Jan 2016
Spot Market Loads +1.7% +0.6% +100%
Spot Market Capacity +3.2% +5.2% +5.2%
Van Load-To-Truck 8.6% 13% +76%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.8% 2.9% +1.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +13% +14% +164%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +2.1% 2.6% +1.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 11% 10% +62%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.0% 1.5% +3.2%
Fuel Prices 0.2% +2.8% +20%
Van and Reefer Rates Continue to Slide

National Flatbed Rate Adds 4¢

Feb 5 – 11 – Van and reefer rates continued to decline, which is typical for what’s normally a slow month for freight, but spot market volumes last week were strong for this time of year. The national flatbed rate rose 4¢ per mile last week.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 2/15/2017 – Next update: 2/22/2017

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.56 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jan 29 – Feb 4 vs.
Jan 22 – 28
Jan 2017 vs.
Dec 2016
Jan 2017 vs.
Jan 2016
Spot Market Loads +7.7% +0.6% +100%
Spot Market Capacity 2.1% +5.2% +5.2%
Van Load-To-Truck +2.9% 13% +76%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.8% 2.9% +1.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +21% +14% +164%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% 2.6% +1.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 1.9% 10% +62%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 3.0% 1.5% +3.2%
Fuel Prices +0.0% +2.8% +20%
Van and Reefer Rates Fall in Slow Season
 

National Flatbed Rate Adds 1¢

Jan 29 – Feb 4 – There was an uptick in spot market volumes last week, which followed a couple weeks of declining load posts. Van and reefer rates continued to decline during the slow season, but the national averages for each trailer type remain higher than they were in February 2016. The national flatbed rate rose 1¢ per mile.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 2/8/2017 – Next update: 2/15/2017

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.56 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jan 22 – 28 vs.
Jan 15 – 21
Dec 2016 vs.
Nov 2016
Dec 2016 vs.
Dec 2015
Spot Market Loads 12% +13% +84%
Spot Market Capacity +4.8% 9.6% 3.9%
Van Load-To-Truck 13% +22% +80%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +4.2% +0.6%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 17% +35% +167%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.6% +0.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 20% +21% +66%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% +1.0% +1.0%
Fuel Prices 0.4% +2.9% +8.7%
Rates Decline Seasonally for Vans and Reefers

Volumes Strong Compared to Last Year

Jan 22 – 28 – Demand continued to decline seasonally, but spot market volumes haven’t fallen off sharply in January like they did around this same time a year ago. Van and reefer rates each fell an average of 1¢ per mile, while the national average flatbed rate rose by 1¢.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 2/01/2017 – Next update: 2/8/2017

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.56 / gallon
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DAT News & Blogs

Plus, getting your motor carrier authority can take a month or more, so by the time you get your DOT number and start your business, you’ll be ready for the spring freight season.

Remember: It takes a month if you don’t hit any delays along the way, but it could take longer. For example, if you needed to change your company name, or something comes up in the registration process, the FMCSA could take extra time before approving your authority. That’s why it’s crucial that you do your research before making the leap.

That goes for both regulations AND your business strategies. Insurance, registration fees, equipment, staffing, taxes – all these expenses are your responsibility once you get your own authority. The risks are high, but so are the potential rewards.

Ready to take the plunge? Here are 9 steps to starting your own trucking business.

  1. Get your commercial driver’s license – Get behind the wheel and get some experience
  2. Make a business plan – What are you hauling? Who are your customers?
  3. Choose a business structure – Choices include LLC, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, etc.
  4. Start-up expensesGet authority and save money to cover the first few months until you start getting paid
  5. Plan your operations – Staffing, parking, maintenance, back office – who does what?
  6. Safety compliance – State and federal regulations
  7. Insurance – $750,000 minimum liability
  8. Equipment – What tractor and/or trailer does your business need?
  9. Grow your business –Find loads

Want to get started as quickly as possible? Give us a call at 866-812-3379, and we can take care of the paperwork for you. That way you don’t have to worry about making a mistake that leads to you missing out on the busy season later this year.

You can also send us a message here to get started with your authority or anything else you need to keep your trucking business compliant.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jan 15 – 21 vs.
Jan 8 – 14
Dec 2016 vs.
Nov 2016
Dec 2016 vs.
Dec 2015
Spot Market Loads 14% +13% +84%
Spot Market Capacity +13% 9.6% 3.9%
Van Load-To-Truck 26% +22% +80%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.2% +4.2% +0.6%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 20% +35% +167%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.6% +0.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 27% +21% +66%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.0% +1.0% +1.0%
Fuel Prices 0.4% +2.9% +8.7%
Demand Slows in Mid-January

Prices Dip for Vans and Reefers

Jan 15 – 21 – It’s typical for load counts to start tapering off in the third week of January, which is what happened last week. Load-to-truck ratios declined for all equipment types, but they also started out higher than normal for this time of year. National average rates fell 2¢ for both vans and reefers, but were up slightly for flatbeds.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 1/25/2017 – Next update: 2/01/2017

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.57 / gallon
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DAT News & Blogs

1. Strong demand

The biggest factor affecting capacity is, of course, the volume of freight that brokers are asked to move and the number of available, qualified trucks to move it. And although demand started out weak at the beginning of 2016, it sure did not end the year that way. Beginning in mid-2016, there began a steady climb in the load-to-truck ratios for vans, reefers and flatbeds. These ratios represent the number of loads posted for every truck posted on DAT Load Boards, and are an indicator of spot market demand relative to capacity.

The December DAT Freight Index revealed that spot market demand increased for six straight months in the latter half of 2016. Comparing December 2015 to December 2016, van freight availability increased 52 percent, reefer demand was up 55 percent, and demand for flatbeds increased 48 percent.

(More info: Spot Market Demand Increases for Sixth Straight Month and 2017 Outlook: The Freight Recession is Over.)

Beginning in May 2016, there began a steady climb in the load-to-truck ratios for vans. Reefers experienced a similar pattern, and flatbeds began their climb in August.

2. ELD Mandate

The ELD mandate is now less than one year away. That means that after December 17, 2017, all heavy-duty trucks (with a few exceptions) must use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to log their hours of service. While large carriers have been using ELDs for years, many small fleets and owner-operators have yet to make the switch from paper logs.

Industry predictions about the reduction of capacity following the mandate vary from 3-5 percent, to 6-10 percent. In our recent blog post Brokers Concerned About ELDs Too, one broker noted that fewer than half of his carriers currently use ELDs. Another said he intends to poll his core carriers to see how many have implemented ELDs—and update the figures monthly throughout 2017. 

3. Increased scrutiny of drivers

In a time when truck drivers are already hard to find and retain, there are a number of new regulations under consideration by the FMCSA that could further chip away at the number of drivers. There are proposals to test drivers for sleep apnea, use hair testing to check for drug use, and to create a database of drivers who have failed a drug or alcohol test.

In addition, the FMCSA recently completed public comment on a speed limiter rule that could force drivers to drive slower than the posted speed limit in certain states. A reduction of even a few miles per hour, multiplied by the thousands of miles a driver logs each year, would be yet another hit to productivity.

4. Rising fuel prices

Diesel prices have risen 59 cents per gallon since February, and analysts are predicting prices to continue to rise in 2017. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) announced that they plan to cut production this year and, at current prices, there’s not much incentive to increase U.S. oil production.

For carriers, the cost of fuel is their second-highest expense, behind personnel costs. When fuel prices rose sharply in 2008, the number of carrier bankruptcies also spiked. Fleets and owner-operators who have hobbled along financially while prices have been low, could be pushed over the edge if fuel prices rise significantly.

 

National average diesel prices have climbed 59 cents per gallon since February, as seen in this graph from DAT RateView.

5. Infrastructure concerns

As traffic congestion increases, productivity decreases. Highway funding bills have hit roadblocks in congress and are often short-term measures that maintain spending at current levels. Although the incoming Trump administration has proposed big increases in infrastructure spending, it’s unclear whether Congress will support the new president’s aspirations.

Underfunded infrastructure exaggerates other trucking problems, such as the lack of parking for truck drivers to take their mandated breaks. This problem will only get worse with the ELD mandate, as electronic logs won’t allow any wiggle room when drivers needs to take their required rest breaks or stop for the night.

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Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jan 8 – 14 vs.
Jan 1 – 7
Dec 2016 vs.
Nov 2016
Dec 2016 vs.
Dec 2015
Spot Market Loads +18% +13% +84%
Spot Market Capacity +34% 9.6% 3.9%
Van Load-To-Truck 16% +22% +80%
Van Rates (Spot) 2.8% +4.2% +0.6%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 5.3% +35% +167%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 1.6% +2.6% +0.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 15% +21% +66%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.5% +1.0% +1.0%
Fuel Prices +0.4% +2.9% +8.7%
Load-to-Truck Ratios Retreat

Prices Dip for Vans, Flats and Reefers

Jan 8 – 14 –Load board activity increased, but load-to-truck ratios declined in the first full work week of the new year. Rates fell for vans, reefers and flatbeds. Severe weather also affected freight movement in many parts of the country.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 1/17/2017 – Next update: 1/25/2017

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.59 / gallon
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Tax Tips 2017

Tax Changes for 2017: A Checklist

 Welcome, 2017! As the New Year rolls around, it’s always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2017 is no different. From health savings accounts to tax rate schedules and standard deductions, here’s a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead.

Individuals

For 2017, more than 50 tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including personal exemptions, AMT exemption amounts, and foreign earned income exclusion.

While the tax rate structure, which ranges from 10 to 39.6 percent, remains the same as in 2016, tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. Standard deductions and the personal exemption have also been adjusted upward to reflect inflation. For details see the article, “Tax Brackets, Deductions, and Exemptions for 2017,” below.

Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
Exemption amounts for the AMT, which was made permanent by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) are indexed for inflation and allow the use of nonrefundable personal credits against the AMT. For 2017, the exemption amounts are $54,300 for individuals ($53,900 in 2016) and $84,500 for married couples filing jointly ($83,800 in 2016).

“Kiddie Tax”
For taxable years beginning in 2017, the amount that can be used to reduce the net unearned income reported on the child’s return that is subject to the “kiddie tax,” is $1,050 (same as 2016). The same $1,050 amount is used to determine whether a parent may elect to include a child’s gross income in the parent’s gross income and to calculate the “kiddie tax.” For example, one of the requirements for the parental election is that a child’s gross income for 2017 must be more than $1,050 but less than $10,500.

For 2017, the net unearned income for a child under the age of 19 (or a full-time student under the age of 24) that is not subject to “kiddie tax” is $2,100.

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) are used to pay current or future medical expenses of the account owner, his or her spouse, and any qualified dependent. Medical expenses must not be reimbursable by insurance or other sources and do not qualify for the medical expense deduction on a federal income tax return.

A qualified individual must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and not be covered by other health insurance with the exception of insurance for accidents, disability, dental care, vision care, or long-term care.

For calendar year 2017, a qualifying HDHP must have a deductible of at least $1,300 for self-only coverage or $2,600 for family coverage and must limit annual out-of-pocket expenses of the beneficiary to $6,550 for self-only coverage and $13,100 for family coverage.

Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs)
There are two types of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs): the Archer MSA created to help self-employed individuals and employees of certain small employers, and the Medicare Advantage MSA, which is also an Archer MSA, and is designated by Medicare to be used solely to pay the qualified medical expenses of the account holder. To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage MSA, you must be enrolled in Medicare. Both MSAs require that you are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).

Self-only coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2017, the term “high deductible health plan” means, for self-only coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $2,250 and not more than $3,350 (same as 2016), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $4,500 (up $50 from 2016).Family coverage. For taxable years beginning in 2017, the term “high deductible health plan” means, for family coverage, a health plan that has an annual deductible that is not less than $4,500 and not more than $6,750 (up $50 from 2016), and under which the annual out-of-pocket expenses required to be paid (other than for premiums) for covered benefits do not exceed $8,250 (up $100 from 2016).

Penalty for not Maintaining Minimum Essential Health Coverage
For calendar year 2017, the dollar amount used to determine the penalty for not maintaining minimum essential health coverage is $695.

AGI Limit for Deductible Medical Expenses
In 2017, the deduction threshold for deductible medical expenses remains at 10 percent (same as 2016) of adjusted gross income (AGI). Prior to January 1, 2017, if either you or your spouse were age 65 or older as of December 31, 2016, the 7.5 percent threshold that was in place in earlier tax years continued to apply. That provision expired at the end of 2016, however, and starting in 2017, the 10 percent of AGI threshold applies to everyone.

Eligible Long-Term Care Premiums
Premiums for long-term care are treated the same as health care premiums and are deductible on your taxes subject to certain limitations. For individuals age 40 or younger at the end of 2017, the limitation is $410. Persons more than 40 but not more than 50 can deduct $770. Those more than 50 but not more than 60 can deduct $1,530 while individuals more than 60 but not more than 70 can deduct $4,090. The maximum deduction is $5,110 and applies to anyone more than 70 years of age.

Medicare Taxes
The additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax on wages above $200,000 for individuals ($250,000 married filing jointly), which went into effect in 2013, remains in effect for 2017, as does the Medicare tax of 3.8 percent on investment (unearned) income for single taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income (AGI) more than $200,000 ($250,000 joint filers). Investment income includes dividends, interest, rents, royalties, gains from the disposition of property, and certain passive activity income. Estates, trusts, and self-employed individuals are all liable for the new tax.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
For 2017, the foreign earned income exclusion amount is $102,100, up from $101,300 in 2016.

Long-Term Capital Gains and Dividends
In 2017 tax rates on capital gains and dividends remain the same as 2016 rates; however threshold amounts are indexed for inflation. As such, for taxpayers in the lower tax brackets (10 and 15 percent), the rate remains 0 percent. For taxpayers in the four middle tax brackets, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent, the rate is 15 percent. For an individual taxpayer in the highest tax bracket, 39.6 percent, whose income is at or above $418,400 ($470,700 married filing jointly), the rate for both capital gains and dividends is capped at 20 percent.

Pease and PEP (Personal Exemption Phaseout)
Both Pease (limitations on itemized deductions) and PEP (personal exemption phase-out) have been permanently extended (and indexed to inflation) for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012, and in 2017, affect taxpayers with income at or above $261,500 for single filers and $313,800 for married filing jointly.

Estate and Gift Taxes
For an estate of any decedent during calendar year 2017, the basic exclusion amount is $5,490,000, indexed for inflation (up from $5,450,000 in 2016). The maximum tax rate remains at 40 percent. The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000.

Ensuring Financial Success for Your Business

 Can you point your company in the direction of financial success, step on the gas, and then sit back and wait to arrive at your destination?

Not quite. You can’t let your business run on autopilot and expect good results. Any business owner knows you need to make numerous adjustments along the way – decisions about pricing, hiring, investments, and so on.

So, how do you handle the array of questions facing you?

One way is through cost accounting.

Cost Accounting Helps You Make Informed Decisions

Cost accounting reports and determines the various costs associated with running your business. With cost accounting, you track the cost of all your business functions – raw materials, labor, inventory, and overhead, among others.

Note: Cost accounting differs from financial accounting because it’s only used internally, for decision making. Because financial accounting is employed to produce financial statements for external stakeholders, such as stockholders and the media, it must comply with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). Cost accounting does not.

Cost accounting allows you to understand the following:

  1. Cost behavior. For example, will the costs increase or stay the same if production of your product goes up?
  2. Appropriate prices for your goods or services. Once you understand cost behavior, you can tweak your pricing based on the current market.
  3. Budgeting. You can’t create an effective budget if you don’t know the real costs of the line items.

Is It Hard?

To monitor your company’s costs with this method, you need to pay attention to the two types of costs in any business: fixed and variable.

Fixed costs don’t fluctuate with changes in production or sales. They include:

  • rent
  • insurance
  • dues and subscriptions
  • equipment leases
  • payments on loans
  • management salaries
  • advertising

Variable costs DO change with variations in production and sales. Variable costs include:

  • raw materials
  • hourly wages and commissions
  • utilities
  • inventory
  • office supplies
  • packaging, mailing, and shipping costs

Tip: Cost accounting is easier for smaller, less complicated businesses. The more complex your business model, the harder it becomes to assign proper values to all the facets of your company’s functioning.

If you’d like to understand the ins and outs of your business better and create sound guidance for internal decision making, consider setting up a cost accounting system.

Need Help?

Please call if you need assistance setting up cost accounting and inventory systems, preparing budgets, cash flow management or any other matter related to ensuring the financial success of your business.

 

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jan 1 – 7 vs.
Dec 25 – 31
Dec 2016 vs.
Nov 2016
Dec 2016 vs.
Dec 2015
Spot Market Loads +17% +13% +84%
Spot Market Capacity +9.5% 9.6% 3.9%
Van Load-To-Truck +9.8% +22% +80%
Van Rates (Spot) +2.3% +4.2% +0.6%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +6.8% +35% +167%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 1.5% +2.6% +0.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 4.3% +21% +66%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +2.5% +1.0% +1.0%
Fuel Prices +0.4% +2.9% +8.7%
High Load-to-Truck Ratios Kick Off 2017

Demand Stays Strong in New Year

Jan 1 – 7 – Higher volumes and fuel prices led to higher national averages for van rates and reefer rates, though the national flatbed rates declined, compared to the average for December. Prices fell in most major markets, when compared to the highs of the previous week.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 1/10/2017 – Next update: 1/17/2017

Fuel Prices
+0.4%$2.60 / gallon
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While the mandate has the potential to force some small carriers out of business — possibly leading to higher freight rates, if capacity tightens — there are several other proposed rules and regulations could also have major impacts on the trucking industry in 2017.

Here are 5 new regulations that could affect truckers and carriers the most.

ELD Mandate

Any truck driver who’s required to track Hours of Service must do so with an electronic logging device (ELD) by December 16. Some shippers may require the carriers they work with to make the change earlier than that. (Note: Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 2000 are exempt from the mandate.)
More info

Hours of Service

Some portions of the HOS rules that were introduced in July 2013 were lifted again in 2014. The 2013 rules required 34-hour restarts to include two stretches between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM, and the restart could be used only once per seven days. Those provisions were suspended, and a study by the FMCSA and Virginia Tech University on the rules’ safety impact will determine whether or not that suspension is permanent. According to Overdrive Online, the report is “under departmental review.”
More info

MC Numbers

The Unified Registration System (URS) was scheduled to be fully implemented by January 14, but the FMCSA announced that it’s been delayed. Again. We should learn the new date sometime soon. Once it’s in place, the URS will replace the FMCSA’s old registration system for operating authority, and going forward, all carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders will be identified solely by a DOT number instead of an MC, FF, or MX number.
More info

Speed Limiters

The public comment period closed last month on a proposed rule that would require speed limiters on vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 lbs. The FMCSA hasn’t suggested what the top speed on the limiters would be. A large segment of those who participated in the public comment period argued against speed limiters, although some large carriers supported a 65 mph limit.
More info

Overtime Pay

New overtime rules were set to take effect last month, but a lawsuit filed in October by 21 states put the rules on hold. Current law says that any salaried employee making more than $23,660 per year is exempt from overtime pay. The new rules, if implemented, would push that limit up to $47,476 per year. It also would allow for 10% of commission or bonus pay to be counted toward the employee’s total compensation, but only if paid at least quarterly. Most drivers are paid by the mile, but dispatchers, salespeople, and other salaried employees could be affected.
More info

Need helping keeping your trucking company compliant with the new rules? Contact our Fleet Services team.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Dec 25 – 31 vs.
Dec 18 – 24
Dec 2016 vs.
Nov 2016
Dec 2016 vs.
Dec 2015
Spot Market Loads 17% +13% +84%
Spot Market Capacity 29% 9.6% 3.9%
Van Load-To-Truck +9.4% +22% +80%
Van Rates (Spot) +1.2% +4.2% +0.6%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +27% +35% +167%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.6% +0.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +19% +21% +66%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +1.0% +1.0% +1.0%
Fuel Prices +1.9% +2.9% +8.7%
Load-to-Truck Ratios Soar, Heading Into Holiday

Rates Rise Ahead of Christmas

Dec 25 – 31 – Spot market freight rates soared between Christmas and New Year’s Day. A combination of tighter capacity and urgency to move freight before the end of 2016 led to some of the highest prices of the year, while load-to-truck ratios surged. The national averages for both reefer and flatbed rates were up 2¢, while van rates added 1¢.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 1/3/2017 – Next update: 1/10/2017

Fuel Prices
+1.9%$2.59 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Dec 18 – 24 vs.
Dec 11 – 17
Nov 2016 vs.
Oct 2016
Nov 2016 vs.
Nov 2015
Spot Market Loads +1.2% +4.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity 11% 3.3% +5.1%
Van Load-To-Truck +9.5% +9.7% +74%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.6% +1.2% 2.3%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +15% +3.1% +124%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +1.0% 1.0% 3.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +28% +15% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +1.0% +3.2% +0.5%
Fuel Prices +0.4% 0.6% 1.2%
Load-to-Truck Ratios Soar, Heading Into Holiday

Rates Rise Ahead of Christmas

Dec 18 – 24 – It cost a little more to move freight as we got closer to Christmas. Even as activity tapered off near the end of the week, urgency rose, which led to higher rates. Van rates  were up 1¢ nationally, while reefer and flatbed rates were each 2¢ higher than they were the previous week.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 12/27/2016 – Next update: 1/3/2017

Fuel Prices
+0.4%$2.54 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Dec 11 – 17 vs.
Dec 4 – 10
Nov 2016 vs.
Oct 2016
Nov 2016 vs.
Nov 2015
Spot Market Loads +1.6% +4.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity 5.3% 3.3% +5.1%
Van Load-To-Truck +4.5% +9.7% +74%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.7% +1.2% 2.3%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +3.1% +3.1% +124%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% 1.0% 3.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +21% +15% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% +3.2% +0.5%
Fuel Prices +0.5% 0.6% 1.2%
Load-to-Truck Ratios Regain Momentum

Rates Dip, But Stay Strong

Dec 11 – 17 – Load-to-truck ratios were already strong, but they went even higher last week, for all equipment types. Van rates dipped 3¢ compared to the previous week, but remain strong for the season. In fact, December is on track to be the peak month for van pricing in 2016. Reefer rates lost 1¢ per mile, and flatbeds were unchanged, week over week.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 12/20/2016 – Next update: 12/27/2016

Fuel Prices
+1.6%$2.53 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Dec 4 – 10 vs.
Nov 27 – Dec 3
Nov 2016 vs.
Oct 2016
Nov 2016 vs.
Nov 2015
Spot Market Loads 8.6% +4.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity +15% 3.3% +5.1%
Van Load-To-Truck 28% +9.7% +74%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +1.2% 2.3%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 5.6% +3.1% +124%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% 1.0% 3.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 26% +15% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% +3.2% +0.5%
Fuel Prices +0.4% 0.6% 1.2%
December Freight Stays Strong

Rates Dip 1¢ for Vans and Reefers

Dec 4 – 10 – Load availability edged down last week after a big spike the week before. Load-to-truck ratios declined for all trailer types, but all remain higher than usual for this time of the year. Van rates dipped 1¢ from the previous week’s high, and reefers also lost 1¢ per mile, but flatbed rates rose 1¢.

The chart above depicts national average spot market rates for the past four weeks, including fuel surcharges. Weekly rate snapshots reflect averages for the month to-date, from DAT RateView.

Last update: 12/13/2016 – Next update: 12/20/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.4%$2.49 / gallon
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2016 Recap: Tax Provisions for Businesses

Whether you file as a corporation or sole proprietor here’s what business owners need to know about tax changes for 2016.

Standard Mileage Rates
The standard mileage rates in 2016 are as follows: 54 cents per business mile driven, 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

Health Care Tax Credit for Small Businesses
Small business employers who pay at least half the premiums for single health insurance coverage for their employees may be eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit as long as they employ fewer than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers and average annual wages do not exceed $52,000 (adjusted annually for inflation) in 2016.

In 2016 (as in 2015 and 2014), the tax credit is worth up to 50 percent of your contribution toward employees’ premium costs (up to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers). For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit was 35 percent for small business employers and 25 percent for small tax-exempt employers such as charities.

Section 179 Expensing and Depreciation

The Section 179 expense deduction was made permanent at $500,000 by the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH). For equipment purchases, the maximum deduction is $500,000 of the first $2.01 million of qualifying equipment placed in service during the current tax year. The deduction is phased out dollar for dollar on amounts exceeding the $2 million threshold amount (indexed for inflation) and eliminated above amounts exceeding $2.5 million. In addition, Section 179 is now indexed to inflation in increments of $10,000 for future tax years.

The 50 percent bonus depreciation has been extended through 2019. Businesses are able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and placed in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017. However, the bonus depreciation is reduced to 40 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2019. The standard business depreciation amount is 24 cents per mile.

Please call if you have any questions about Section 179 expensing and the bonus depreciation.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

Extended through 2019, the Work Opportunity Tax Credit has been modified and enhanced for employers who hire long-term unemployed individuals (unemployed for 27 weeks or more) and is generally equal to 40 percent of the first $6,000 of wages paid to a new hire. Please call if you have any questions about the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.

SIMPLE IRA Plan Contributions
Contribution limits for SIMPLE IRA plans increased to $12,500 for persons under age 50 and $15,500 for persons age 50 or older in 2016. The maximum compensation used to determine contributions increases to $265,000.

Please contact the office if you need help understanding which deductions and tax credits you are entitled to.

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The Android app is included with your DAT Power, Express, TruckersEdge, or MembersEdge account. It gives you access to all the same loads you find with your current load board subscription, but now you get the most advanced tools for owner-operators, carriers, and dispatchers all on your smartphone. Just download the app from the Google Play Store, log in with the same info you use for your DAT subscription, and search for loads from the palm of your hand.

NOTE: The load board app is not yet available for iPhone or iPad.

With DAT Load Board for Truckers, you get easy-to-use tools that you can’t find with any other load board app.

  • Learns how you work – App remembers your preferences so you save time
  • See up to 500 results at once – No need to thumb through pages
  • Save matches to call later
  • Sort search results by offer rate
  • Broker reviews and credit scores
  • Spot market rates for lanes you search (depending on your DAT subscription)
  • Remembers lanes you recently searched
  • Post your available truck so that brokers find you

The mobile app gives you full access to every load on the DAT Network, so you can find freight for dry van, reefer, flatbed, LTL, hot shot, power only, stepdeck, and much more.

Download DAT Load Board for Truckers in the Google Play Store. Not already a DAT customer? Contact us today to get access to more than 95 million loads posted to DAT Load Boards every year. NOTE: DAT Load Board for Truckers is not available yet for iPhone or iPad.

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Nov 27 – Dec 3 vs.
Nov 20 – 26
Nov 2016 vs.
Oct 2016
Nov 2016 vs.
Nov 2015
Spot Market Loads +64% +4.6% +87%
Spot Market Capacity +13% 3.3% +5.1%
Van Load-To-Truck +61% +9.7% +74%
Van Rates (Spot) +4.8% +1.2% 2.3%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +27% +3.1% +124%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +1.1% 1.0% 3.6%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +36% +15% +60%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% +3.2% +0.5%
Fuel Prices +2.4% 0.6% 1.2%
Load-to-Truck Ratios Soar

Rates Climb for Vans, Reefers, Flatbeds

Nov 27 – Dec 3 – As expected, load posts surged last week, following Thanksgiving week in which people took one or more days off. Less expected were the unseasonably high load-to-truck ratios. Last week’s 4.7 load-to-truck ratio for vans is the highest seen since June of 2014. The ratio for reefers was 8.2, the highest since March 2015. Van rates gained 8¢, reefer rates added 1¢, and flatbed rates were up 2¢ compared to the previous week.

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: 12/6/2016 – Next update: 12/13/2016

Fuel Prices
+2.4%$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 Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Nov 20 – 26 vs.
Nov 13 – 19
Oct 2016 vs.
Sep 2016
Oct 2016 vs.
Oct 2015
Spot Market Loads 30% +2.8% +52%
Spot Market Capacity 28% +3.4% 4.2%
Van Load-To-Truck +2.3% 6.0% +86%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +2.5% 2.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +1.0% +13% +47%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 1.0% +1.6% 4.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 8.9% 0.8% +54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% 0.5% 2.1%
Fuel Prices +0.0% +2.5% 2.6%
Van and Flatbed Ratios Rise During Holiday Week

Rates Edge Down

Nov 20 – 26 – Last week began with a flurry of load board activity, but it slowed by Wednesday afternoon for the long Thanksgiving weekend. Rates rose on the high-traffic lanes, but some backhaul lanes lost traction, so adjustments to the national averages were small. Van rates dipped 1¢, reefer rates added 1¢, and flatbed rates fell 2¢, compared to the previous week.

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: 11/29/2016 – Next update: 12/6/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.42 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Nov 13 – 19 vs.
Nov 6 – 12
Oct 2016 vs.
Sep 2016
Oct 2016 vs.
Oct 2015
Spot Market Loads +5.3% +2.8% +52%
Spot Market Capacity +2.1% +3.4% 4.2%
Van Load-To-Truck +3.9% 6.0% +86%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.5% 2.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +3.8% +13% +47%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +1.1% +1.6% 4.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +2.6% 0.8% +54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% 0.5% 2.1%
Fuel Prices 0.8% +2.5% 2.6%
Demand Increases for Vans, Reefers, Flats

Flatbed Rates Rise 2¢

Nov 13 – 19 – Load-to-truck ratios rose for all equipment types last week, on stronger seasonal demand. Load volume was exceptionally high for vans, but the average van rate was unchanged. Flatbed rates rose 2¢ as a national average, while reefer rates dipped 1¢ per mile.

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: 11/22/2016 – Next update: 11/29/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.8%$2.42 / gallon
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Comparing the outbound rates from 15 regions to each of the same 15 regions as destinations, gives you 225 (15 x 15) origin-destination pairs. In the first week of November, 64 of those region-to-region pairs had a rate increase of at least 6¢ per mile, and the biggest increases were on lanes that originated in the West, heading to destinations along the East Coast.

Here are the four region-to-region pairs with the biggest rate increases, comparing last week to the third quarter averages: 

1. California to New England – up 18¢ per mile

2. Upper Mountain States to Florida and Southern Georgia – up 17¢ per mile

3. Pacific Northwest to Florida and Southern Georgia – up 16¢ per mile

4. Lower Mountain States to Lower Atlantic States – up 16¢ per mile

 

Rates have been climbing on many west-to-east lanes throughout the fall season. In nearly every case, rates are up by 6¢ per mile or more. On a region-to-region basis, the biggest rate jumps, of 16¢ to 18¢ per mile, are depicted on the map, above. From top left: (1) Upper Mountain to Florida-South Georgia; (2) Pacific Northwest to Florida-South Georgia; (3) California to New England; and, (4) Lower Mountain to Lower Atlantic.

 

The graph shows 24 region-to-region pairs, with changes in rates for freight movements that originated in four Western regions, labeled by color: Upper Mountain, Lower Mountain, California, and Pacific Northwest. The destinations are in six East Coast regions, listed on the X axis: New England, Upper Atlantic, Lower Atlantic, Carolinas, Florida-South Georgia, and Southeast. Of the 24 region-to-region pairs, only three had declining rates during the first week of November: (1) Lower Mountain to New England; (2) Pacific Northwest to New England; and (3) Upper Mountain to Lower Atlantic.

 

These results are atypical, so they may surprise longtime freight trend watchers. In recent years, fall freight has peaked in September and October. But in 2016, those patterns don’t seem to apply. For example, there is usually a peak for van freight in June on the spot market, followed by declining activity after the Fourth of July. That peak was muted this year, but so was the decline. Now we are starting November with no sign of a seasonal decline in activity. Instead, the freight economy appears to be heating up, at least on the spot market.

There is a clear trend of west-to-east movement, with increased activity in California, the Pacific Northwest and Mountain regions adding to rate pressure in other U.S. regions. Rates are also rising on seasonal traffic from Canada to the U.S., but rates are falling on lanes entering Canada from all over the U.S., except the Lower Mountain region.

If you are moving freight in the eastern half of the U.S., you may not be seeing much rate movement. In some regions, including the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest, rates were actually down 6¢ per mile or more last week. The strength of those west-to-east lanes has led the overall rate trend, however, and that trajectory has been up solidly for the past several months. 

Measured at the national level for trips over 250 miles, spot market van rates are up 8¢ per mile in November, compared to the October average. Rates are up 23¢ per mile since the low point in April, including a 6¢ increase in the fuel surcharge.  

We have seen this trend building for a while in the DAT RateView and load board data, and we identified a few factors that are contributing to higher rates:

1. Strong produce harvests, with declines in California being offset by strong numbers elsewhere.  

2. Hanjin bankruptcy, resulting in supply chain disruption and increased amounts of inventory transfers, to prevent stock-outs.  

3. Weather events, including flooding in Louisiana and the Carolinas, which generate demand for emergency relief, followed by construction supplies and equipment.  

4. Some economic improvement, as indicated in recent ISM and other reports. 

Refrigerated freight is showing renewed strength, as strong harvests give way to a pre-Thanksgiving surge. The national average rate rose to $1.97 per mile for reefers last week, the highest since early July. Strong potato harvests in southern Idaho, as well as apples from Washington and Michigan, add to a respectable volume of iceberg lettuce from the San Joaquin Valley and the Imperial Valley near Yuma, AZ.  California continues to produce strawberries from Santa Maria to Watsonville, as well as a good crop of grapes. Add poultry, dairy products, and refrigerated packaged foods to the mix for Thanksgiving, and demand for reefers should keep

Flatbed freight also shows signs of stability, after a prolonged decline. 

The regional views tell us that freight is remarkably strong for this time of year. While the geographic trends may shift in the next four to six weeks, it is reasonable to expect a continuation of the atypically high volume and rates on the spot freight market through the end of the year. 

Track changes in spot market freight rates with DAT RateView, which offers real-time spot market and current contract rates, based on more than $28 billion in actual transactions. 

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Nov 6 – 12 vs.
Oct 30 – Nov 5
Oct 2016 vs.
Sep 2016
Oct 2016 vs.
Oct 2015
Spot Market Loads 1.2% +2.8% +52%
Spot Market Capacity +3.2% +3.4% 4.2%
Van Load-To-Truck 7.2% 6.0% +86%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.8% +2.5% 2.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +0.1% +13% +47%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 1.0% +1.6% 4.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 4.7% 0.8% +54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.0% 0.5% 2.1%
Fuel Prices 1.2% +2.5% 2.6%
Rates Remain Strong for Vans in Mid-November

Rates Decline From Late-Season Peak

Nov 6 – 12 – Rates were down for vansreefers, and flatbeds last week, after a big boost in the first few days of the month. Compared to the previous week, average rates fell 3¢ per mile for vans, 2¢ for reefers and 2¢ for flatbeds. Rates for vans and reefers remain very strong for this time of year, however.

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: 11/15/2016 – Next update: 11/22/2016

Fuel Prices
-1.2%$2.44 / gallon
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Year-End Tax Planning for Businesses

There are a number of end of year tax planning strategies that businesses can use to reduce their tax burden for 2016. Here are a few of them:

Deferring Income

Businesses using the cash method of accounting can defer income into 2017 by delaying end-of-year invoices so payment is not received until 2017. Businesses using the accrual method can defer income by postponing delivery of goods or services until January 2017.

Purchase New Business Equipment

Section 179 Expensing. Business should take advantage of Section 179 expensing this year for a couple of reasons. First, is that in 2016 businesses can elect to expense (deduct immediately) the entire cost of most new equipment up to a maximum of $500,000 for the first $2,010,000 million of property placed in service by December 31, 2016. Keep in mind that the Section 179 deduction cannot exceed net taxable business income. The deduction is phased out dollar for dollar on amounts exceeding the $2.01 million threshold and eliminated above amounts exceeding $2.5 million.

Bonus Depreciation. Businesses are able to depreciate 50 percent of the cost of equipment acquired and placed in service during 2015, 2016 and 2017. However, the bonus depreciation is reduced to 40 percent in 2018 and 30 percent in 2019.

Qualified property is defined as property that you placed in service during the tax year and used predominantly (more than 50 percent) in your trade or business. Property that is placed in service and then disposed of in that same tax year does not qualify, nor does property converted to personal use in the same tax year it is acquired.

Note: Many states have not matched these amounts and, therefore, state tax may not allow for the maximum federal deduction. In this case, two sets of depreciation records will be needed to track the federal and state tax impact.

Please contact the office if you have any questions regarding qualified property.

Timing. If you plan to purchase business equipment this year, consider the timing. You might be able to increase your tax benefit if you buy equipment at the right time. Here’s a simplified explanation:

Conventions. The tax rules for depreciation include “conventions” or rules for figuring out how many months of depreciation you can claim. There are three types of conventions. To select the correct convention, you must know the type of property and when you placed the property in service.

    1. The half-year convention: This convention applies to all property except residential rental property, nonresidential real property, and railroad gradings and tunnel bores (see mid-month convention below) unless the mid-quarter convention applies. All property that you begin using during the year is treated as “placed in service” (or “disposed of”) at the midpoint of the year. This means that no matter when you begin using (or dispose of) the property, you treat it as if you began using it in the middle of the year.

Example: You buy a $40,000 piece of machinery on December 15. If the half-year convention applies, you get one-half year of depreciation on that machine.

    1. The mid-quarter convention: The mid-quarter convention must be used if the cost of equipment placed in service during the last three months of the tax year is more than 40 percent of the total cost of all property placed in service for the entire year. If the mid-quarter convention applies, the half-year rule does not apply, and you treat all equipment placed in service during the year as if it were placed in service at the midpoint of the quarter in which you began using it.
    2. The mid-month convention: This convention applies only to residential rental property, nonresidential real property, and railroad gradings and tunnel bores. It treats all property placed in service (or disposed of) during any month as placed in service (or disposed of) on the midpoint of that month.

If you’re planning on buying equipment for your business, call the office and speak to a tax professional who can help you figure out the best time to buy that equipment and take full advantage of these tax rules.

Other Year-End Moves to Take Advantage Of

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. Small business employers with 25 or fewer full-time-equivalent employees (average annual wages of $52,000 in 2016) may qualify for a tax credit to help pay for employees’ health insurance. The credit is 50 percent (35 percent for non-profits).

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit. Business energy investment tax credits are still available for eligible systems placed in service on or before December 31, 2016, and businesses that want to take advantage of these tax credits can still do so.

Business energy credits include solar energy systems (passive solar and solar pool-heating systems excluded), fuel cells and microturbines, and an increased credit amount for fuel cells. The extended tax provision also established new credits for small wind-energy systems, geothermal heat pumps, and combined heat and power (CHP) systems. Utilities are allowed to use the credits as well.

Repair Regulations. Where possible, end of year repairs and expenses should be deducted immediately, rather than capitalized and depreciated. Small businesses lacking applicable financial statements (AFS) are able to take advantage of de minimis safe harbor by electing to deduct smaller purchases ($2,500 or less per purchase or per invoice). Businesses with applicable financial statements are able to deduct $5,000. Small business with gross receipts of $10 million or less can also take advantage of safe harbor for repairs, maintenance, and improvements to eligible buildings. Please call if you would like more information on this topic.

Partnership or S-Corporation Basis. Partners or S corporation shareholders in entities that have a loss for 2016 can deduct that loss only up to their basis in the entity. However, they can take steps to increase their basis to allow a larger deduction. Basis in the entity can be increased by lending the entity money or making a capital contribution by the end of the entity’s tax year.

Caution: Remember that by increasing basis, you’re putting more of your funds at risk. Consider whether the loss signals further troubles ahead.

Section 199 Deduction. Businesses with manufacturing activities could qualify for a Section 199 domestic production activities deduction. By accelerating salaries or bonuses attributable to domestic production gross receipts in the last quarter of 2016, businesses can increase the amount of this deduction. Please call to find out how your business can take advantage of Section 199.

Retirement Plans. Self-employed individuals who have not yet done so should set up self-employed retirement plans before the end of 2016. Call today if you need help setting up a retirement plan.

Dividend Planning. Reduce accumulated corporate profits and earnings by issuing corporate dividends to shareholders.

Budgets. Every business, whether small or large should have a budget. The need for a business budget may seem obvious, but many companies overlook this critical business planning tool.

A budget is extremely effective in making sure your business has adequate cash flow and in ensuring financial success. Once the budget has been created, then monthly actual revenue amounts can be compared to monthly budgeted amounts. If actual revenues fall short of budgeted revenues, expenses must generally be cut.

Tip: Year-end is the best time for business owners to meet with their accountants to budget revenues and expenses for the following year.

If you need help developing a budget for your business, don’t hesitate to call.

Call a Tax Professional First

These are just a few of the year-end planning tax moves that could make a substantial difference in your tax bill for 2016. If you’d like more information about tax planning for 2017, please call to schedule a consultation to discuss your specific tax and financial needs, and develop a plan that works for your business.

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DAT Trendlines

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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Oct 30 – Nov 5 vs.
Oct 23 – 29
Oct 2016 vs.
Sep 2016
Oct 2016 vs.
Oct 2015
Spot Market Loads +4.8% +2.8% +52%
Spot Market Capacity 2.0% +3.4% 4.2%
Van Load-To-Truck +9.4% 6.0% +86%
Van Rates (Spot) +3.0% +2.5% 2.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 1.6% +13% +47%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 0.5% +1.6% 4.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +13% 0.8% +54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +3.7% 0.5% 2.1%
Fuel Prices 0.4% +2.5% 2.6%
Van Rates Near 2015 Levels

Rates Rise for Vans and Reefers

Oct 30 – Nov 5 – Rates rose last week for vans and reefers. For vans, rates were up 5¢ week over week, and were just 1¢ below where they were a year ago. For reefers, rates looked more like the June produce peak than the first week in November, jumping 7¢ from the previous week.

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: 11/8/2016 – Next update: 11/15/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.47 / gallon
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Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Oct 23 – 29 vs.
Oct 16 – 22
Oct 2016 vs.
Sep 2016
Oct 2016 vs.
Oct 2015
Spot Market Loads 3.6% +2.8% +52%
Spot Market Capacity 1.2% +3.4% 4.2%
Van Load-To-Truck 0.2% 6.0% +86%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +2.5% 2.9%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 8.0% +13% +47%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +1.6% 4.5%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +2.2% 0.8% +54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% 0.5% 2.1%
Fuel Prices 0.1% +2.5% 2.6%
October Load Availability Beats 2015 Level

Rates Rise in October for Vans and Flatbeds

Oct 23 – 29 – Load availability and rates rose in October, compared to September. Freight volume also exceeded 2015 levels for the month, but rates did not catch up to the previous year’s highs.

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: 11/1/2016 – Next update: 11/8/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.48 / gallon
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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 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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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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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.

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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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