Truckstop.com’s Market Demand Index took a strong hit in the final five weeks of the period from Dec. 7 through Feb. 8, as shown in Truckstop.com’s weekly Trans4Cast newsletter. The MDI came in at 10.87 Dec. 7 and surged to 14.59 in the Jan. 4 newsletter, but then plummeted over the next five weeks to a mark of 8.30.
Falling fuel prices were partly to blame for leaner rates throughout the industry and the fall of the MDI.
Load availability remained mostly steady through the 10-week period, coming in at 50.25 and falling to a low of 35.01 as reported in the Dec. 28 Trans4Cast. Load availability surged to a high of 61.9 for the Jan. 11 Trans4Cast, but then settled back to a mark of 48.05 for Feb. 8.
Truck availability dropped off sharply from a high of 130.35 early in December to a low of 42.66 on Dec. 21. After surging back to 86.25 the first week of January, truck availability settled back to a rate of 67.69 Feb. 8.
Overall, rates fluctuated through the period, rising from $1.88 on Dec. 7 to a high of $1.97 Jan. 4 and settling back to the lowest point of $1.71 Feb. 8.
Flatbed rates dropped off 14 cents during the period, coming in at a high of $1.83 Dec. 7, but dropping to $1.69 by Feb. 8
Reefer rates surged to a high of $2.27 for the Jan. 4 reporting, but fell back to it lowest point in the 10-week period of $1.82 on Feb. 8.
Specialized rates moved to a high in the period of $2.49 on Dec. 21, after starting out at $2.36 on Dec. 7, but steadily declined to its lowest point of $2.22 Jan. 25 and ending with a rate of $2.25 Feb. 8.
Van rates climbed from their starting rate of $1.81 on Dec. 7 to a high of $1.86 Jan. 4, but eventually fell off because of low oil prices to a low of $1.56 Feb. 8.
Overall, diesel fuel prices witnessed a steady decline throughout the period, coming in at $2.43 Dec. 7 and dropping to $2.01 on Feb. 8.
All-grades fuel prices also continued to drop from a starting point of $2.16 Dec. 7 to a mark of $1.87 Feb. 8.
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