Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


DAT reports gains in spot market loads and rates

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
March 12, 2014

Data recently issued by Portland, Oregon-based freight marketplace platform and information provider DAT showed a host of annual gains for spot market loads and capacity in February.

Aside from spot market capacity, which was impacted by harsh winter weather, DATA reported the following data for February on a sequential (January to February) and annual basis:
-spot market loads were up 8.8 percent sequentially and 86 percent annually;
-spot market capacity was down 12 percent sequentially and 22 percent annually;
-van Load-to-Truck was up 12 percent sequentially and 137 percent annually;
-spot van rates were up 2.6 percent sequentially and 13 percent annually;
-flatbed Load-to-Truck was up 41 percent sequentially and 104 percent annually;
-spot flatbed rates were up 0.5 percent sequentially and 2.4 percent annually;
-reefer Load-toTruck was up 11 percent sequentially and 146 percent annually;
-spot reefer rates were up 1.9 percent sequentially and 8.8 percent annually; and
-fuel prices were up 2.3 percent sequentially and down 3.1 percent annually

The limited spot market capacity, coupled with the increase in spot market loads, is indicative of “unyielding winter weather [continuing] to push more freight into the spot market as shippers search for available capacity,” adding that growth in the spot market is unprecedented, as evidenced by continuing gains in overall load volume and van rates approaching $2.00 per mile.

Tight capacity continues to be a main theme among shippers, carriers, and third-party logistics (3PL) services providers.

“Capacity is as tight as we have seen it in many years,” said Tom Nightingale, president, GENCO Transportation Logistics. “While the weather has certainly been a major driver of the capacity shortage, it feels like volume increases are driving at least as much of the tightness.  This is all being exacerbated by a tough driver recruitment market and carriers feeling the full impact of last year’s HOS (Hours-of-Service) rule changes.  I was speaking with a carrier last week who has several hundred unseated tractors and, like many, they are exercising choice in a supply-constrained market.” 

Nightingale also observed that GENCO is seeing carriers charging for deadhead miles and turning down freight, regardless of price, while prices in the spot market have been “through the roof” since mid-January.

While the winter weather has made a definitive imprint on spot market volumes, rates, and capacity, things are likely to return to a more typical pattern when the winter weather eventually gives way to warmer conditions in the spring.

Robert W. Baird & Co. analyst Ben Hartford wrote in a research note that his firm expects outlooks to be very constructive given better-than-expected core pricing growth and the likelihood of solid freight volume trends in the coming months after severe weather conditions (presumably) normalize.

 

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

U.S. carloads were down 2.4 percent annually at 284,618, and intermodal volume was up 6.7 percent compared to the same week as last year at 277,854 trailers and containers.

The results of the 2015 MHI Annual Industry Report were released at Wednesday’s ProMat keynote, with some of the biggest findings from the report’s survey being pricing pressure combined with ever growing customer expectations for a faster, better experience.

Seasonally-adjusted (SA) for-hire truck tonnage in February was down 3.1 percent (2000=100) compared to a revised 1.3 percent (from 1.2 percent) increase in January. ATA said this reading marks the lowest level for the SA index going back to last September.

It was a busy day for railroad-related legislation yesterday, with the United States Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approving two bills with a railroad focus by a voice vote. The respective bills are S. 808, the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 and S. 650, the Railroad Safety and Positive Train Control Extension Act.

Indications given by a splinter group of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union suggest that shippers should not assume the tentative contract with the Pacific Maritime Association is a “done deal.”

Article Topics

News · Trucking · Spot Market · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA