For the first time since September of 2017, the national average for spot truckload rates fell below the two dollars per mile mark. Spot truckload rates are market rates for goods traded through immediate delivery.
Last week, despite the industry’s increase in van, flatbed and reefer load-to-truck ratios, prices decreased for the third consecutive week.
One main contributor to the recent spot-rate deterioration is depleted fuel prices. The average on-highway diesel fuel price within the nation is $2.96 per gallon. This was also the average the previous week. You can check out the exact rates here.
Unfortunately, many aren’t predicting that the trends will get any better during the next few months. Not only do the spot market rates indicate decline, but the weather doesn’t help. Winter storms cause the trucking industry to slow down. Thus, trucking operations slow down, and capacity declines. Bad weather also affects receivers, for staff may have trouble getting to work and maintaining schedules. As a result, the shippers progress also slows down. In addition, consumers are also less likely to shop around in bad weather— worsening the market.
So, restricted capacity is good and can substantially increase rates. Although, bad business and company issues can decrease rates. Therefore, the timing of bad weather and storms will determine the influence on future spot truckload rates.
In conclusion, spot truckload rates can be tricky, but keeping an eye on them is necessary. Hopefully, in regard to the trucking industry, the weather doesn’t get bad enough to worsen the spot truckload rates.