Logistics Weekly

DAT Weekly Trendlines Report – Spot Van Rates Are Poised for a Rebound

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Week Ending Feb. 16, 2019

Spot market rates have drifted lower during the first half of February, but now it looks like the rate trends have hit bottom and may be poised for a rebound.

Last week, the Top 100 high-volume lanes turned positive, by an ever-so-slight margin. Rates rose a minuscule 0.2 percent or three-tenths of a cent per mile. That ends a streak of weekly losses going back to early January. In the Top 100, 47 lane rates rose, 40 lanes fell, and 13 lanes were unchanged, compared to the previous week. That “lucky 13” was a record high number of neutral results for this bellwether report, which suggests that the spot market has already found its bottom.

If rates do reverse course and start to move up, that welcome rebound will be a few weeks early for the seasonal trend that typically begins in late March.

The recent increase in oil prices also gives us confidence that the spot market thaw is imminent. WTI crude has risen to $56 per barrel, which has already spurred new activity in Texas oil fields and will likely continue to generate additional freight volumes there and throughout the country as soon as spring arrives.


The load-to-truck ratio rose 3.5% to 4.8 loads per truck. Demand appears to be poised for a rebound, and rates may have hit bottom for the season.

For more spot market freight trends, visit www.dat.com/trendlines.



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