Cycle analysis: How posted rates play out

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Rates by day of the week and negotiated premium by dayThe high level of weekend rates reflects a pattern of demand for delivery that swells during the week for loads posted for days with no takers. But the relationship between posted rates and paid rates can be more complex, as this 2014 data gathered by Truckstop .com shows. The lower graph charts the percentage spread between the posted and paid (generally higher) rates datasets from diverse sources. The days of the week are based on the day the load is negotiated and pulled from the board – not necessarily the day it picks up.

DRY VAN. Non-weekend rates were strongest for owner-operators on Tuesday and Wednesday, upending late-week strength patterns seen in 2012-13 and other years.

REEFER. The long-term stability in reefer freight translates to rate averages, with less marked variation in rate patterns by day of the week and generally less difference between posted and paid rates datasets.

FLATBED. Posted rates for flatbed, unlike dry van and reefer, reflect traditional wisdom on rate strength, with Friday offers consistently highest for flatbed freight. The spreads between paid and posted rates, however, suggest carriers achieve the highest percentages above broker offers on loads negotiated earlier in the week. Overall negotiation strength was strong in 2013, falling last year because of the big drop in fuel prices and a falloff in demand for freight to oil-drilling operations.