Blog Author

Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.

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Roadcheck is over, but some van rates keep climbing

Summer freight is on its way, just as spring has finally sprung -- and it’s not all about Roadcheck.  The annual Roadcheck inspection blitz kicked off the month by tightening capacity for much of the first week in June. The lane rates that rose sharply during that week dropped back down again after the inspections ended, but van load volumes and rates continue to climb in the Southeast and along the West Coast.  The end… Read More

Freight Forecast: More boom less gloom

Are we really on the brink of a freight recession? I've seen countless gloom-and-doom forecasts and analyses from some very smart people, but I'm not buying it. I look at the data, and I see a continuing pattern of growth in freight volumes, both in the spot market and in the U.S. truckload segment overall.… Read More

Brokers improve net profits despite lower revenue

The first quarter was one of those "good news, bad news" stories for freight brokers. The good news was a big increase in gross margins, which rebounded to 16% from 13% in Q1 of 2018. The reason for this improvement was a sharp drop in spot market rates, which is what the brokers pay to hire a truck. When that cost of "purchased transportation" declined, the brokers got to keep more of the money that their shipper customers paid them for… Read More

Winter storms bring rapid changes to freight markets

Last week's Arctic weather stalled freight movement in and out of key markets in the Midwest. But the storm passed in just a couple of days, so it didn't have a big impact on national rate trends for the week as a whole. To understand the recent storm, and get ready for the next one, it's important to look at rate and volume trends day by day, for a single market. Take Chicago, for example. It's a major freight hub for trucking and… Read More

Few hot spots remain for reefers

Expect a rush of reefer demand this week in areas hit by sub-zero temperatures, as shippers attempt to prevent sensitive cargo from freezing. If you don't want to drive into that slippery mess, head for someplace warm and load up on fresh produce until the storm passes. Rates are cooling off for refrigerated freight across most of the country, but a few hot spots still remain. The hot market in the Western region is Twin… Read More

Spot Van Rates Drift Down as Winter Takes Hold

Van spot rates fell to $2.00 per mile for the month to-date, in a typical seasonal slump. Spot freight volume hasn’t changed a lot since January 2018, but there’s a lot more capacity available, so it’s easier for brokers and 3PLs to find a truck at their target price. There are still pockets of high rates, but pricing has dropped on most high-traffic lanes. Then the weekend ushered in Winter Storm Harper, which brought snow, ice,… Read More

Freight rates slide in winter slump

Tis the season for falling rates. As we move deeper into the slow season, rates are drifting in their typical seasonal pattern. Van spot rates fell to $2.00 per mile for the month to-date, but spot freight volume hasn’t changed a lot since January 2018. There’s a lot more capacity available, however, so it’s easier for brokers and 3PLs to find a truck at their target price. There are still pockets of high rates, but pricing has dropped… Read More

How does the government shutdown affect trucking?

Update - January 25: Federal employees are heading back to work for at least three weeks, under an interim budget agreement. The government shutdown started December 22, and it's already the longest in U.S. history. More than 800,000 Federal employees are affected, and 420,000 of them continue to work without pay. Some government services are suspended, and others are just slower than usual. Maybe a lot… Read More

New Hot Market Maps show when and where you'll find a load

Looking for your next load? Need a truck? Check your watch, and then go to your DAT Hot Market Map. In addition to a detailed view of load and truck posts and ratios, the latest version has a timeline display that gives you the info you need to make your truck or load post stand out from the crowd. Hot Market Maps are included in DAT Power and… Read More

10 most-read stories of 2018

What stories got the most attention in 2018? ELDs and driver detention were the most popular topics, followed by business tips for owner-operators, and info on the big trends in truckload freight, capacity, and rates. In case you missed them, below are the 10 most-read stories from the past year. Stay in the know — sign up for one of our… Read More

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DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, news organizations and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 256 million freight matches and a database of $60 billion of market transactions.

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