Blog Author

Mark Montague

As a mathematician and statistician, Mark Montague has spent decades developing and implementing consistent, market-driven rate structures for transportation companies. Mark was instrumental in developing the dynamic, spot market rates database and analysis tools in DAT RateView (formerly Truckload Rate Index.). Prior to joining DAT in 2009, Mark applied his expertise in logistics, rates and routing as a logistics manager and analyst for carriers, 3PLs and shippers. Mark holds an MBA in Transportation Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

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Van rates fall after 4th of July

It's typical for rates to fall after the Fourth of July, and this year was no different. Now that the holiday has passed, there's less urgency for the freight that's moving. Read More

Van rates ride high through Independence Day

Independence Day fell on a Thursday this year, so there were many people who took Friday off as well. That meant any shipments needing to be delivered last week had a tighter window, and those shipments moved at a premium. Read More

Van rates hit highest mark since January

June freight volumes finished the month strong, and rates responded to close Q2. Over the past six weeks, van rates have climbed about 10% on the top 100 van lanes. Read More

Contract rates are up compared to 2018, but for how long?

This year's truckload spot market rates have fallen well short of the heights set in 2018, but it's a different story for contract freight. For the first half of 2019, contract rates were 3% higher than in 2018. Reefer rates increased the most, followed by vans and then flatbeds. Read More

Why are truckload spot rates lower than last year?

June freight volumes have been rising the past two weeks. In fact, load counts in the Top 100 van lanes are up 22% compared to June 2018. So why is the national average 41¢ per mile lower this year? Read More

June freight could set the tone for rest of year

It's no secret that truckload rates aren't where they were a year ago. We don't expect prices to reach the same levels we saw in 2018, but we've been predicting a second quarter rebound for quite some time now. Read More

Hauling candy by the truckload is a sweet niche

I got started early in candy logistics. After I got my MBA in transportation, I managed a fleet based in Melrose Park, IL, and negotiated rates with the suppliers at E.J. Brach. I was in my 30s at the time, and I told the guy that I’d been handling Brach's candy for 25 years. That's because my father was a candy jobber – a small, regional distributor who serviced all kinds of accounts. Dad worked with a regional pool… Read More

Truckload spot and contract rates tell different stories

There are really two truckload rate stories this year. For one, spot market rates have declined sharply this fall. In the second story, contract rates have mostly held up, and in some cases may still have room to climb higher. Those two stories from 2018 lead to two different rate forecasts for the first half of 2019. Trend #1. Spot rates decline due to excess capacity Spot market rates seem to be suffering… Read More

Lack of pipeline capacity slowing freight in West Texas

Pipeline capacity issues in West Texas have had a carryover impact into the freight marketplace. We have seen a slowing Houston market for flatbed and regional van markets like Dallas and Memphis, which send freight to Houston seem to be impacted by the slowdown in oil drilling as well. Houston market L-T ratios A slowdown in drilling has become apparent in the Permian Basin, centered around Midland, TX. The top lane supplying… Read More

Rates Rise Higher to Start April

At a meeting yesterday, my colleagues were asking where rates are headed in early April. This isn’t an easy thing to know, as often the first week of a new quarter has a kind of hangover effect, where freight volumes are down. We also see the same impact after a major holiday, when freight isn’t always in such a big hurry to get on shelves. But the one thing we do know is that 2018 continues to shape up as anything but ordinary.… Read More

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