What is Ratecast?

Ratecast is a feature of RateView that allows you to see what future spot market rates may look like in the lanes that you are interested in. Until now, RateView users had a very good idea of what the rate was 7 days ago, and they had a great idea of what rates were all the way back 13 months. But one thing you never had the ability to do was to predict the future of rates. That is, until now.

That’s right, Ratecast is a rate forecaster, a way for you to know what the rates a week from now, a month from now, and yes, even a year from now.  The information in the system updates by 8:30 am CST. 

Where is Ratecast?

Ratecast is a feature of RateView, so it can be found on every single lane lookup you do. 

Ratecast Carrier Benefits

How is predicting the future in itself not a benefit? Uncertainty is a powerful and destructive force in the industry. At DAT, we aim to remove the fear of the unknown, at least when it comes to rates.

Imagine you are a carrier unloading in Denver right now. You need to get back to Portland so you start looking for freight on your return trip. You find a lot of loads, but the rates look pretty bad. You start wondering, “Will the rates ever improve?” so you go to RateView and look at the Ratecast rate for tomorrow and you notice that it is predicted to be 25 cents more a mile.

Now, you're faced with a tough choice…. Do you take the cheap load today or do you wait until tomorrow for that better paying load? You’re sleeping in your truck anyway so it’s not going to cost you more to stay the night, so you pass on all those cheap loads and book one tomorrow at the predicted higher rate.

Seeing the power of predictive rates, this carrier has seen the light! Now they are using Ratecast to plan ahead, positioning themselves in higher paying markets when rates are expected to be high there. In a world where carriers struggle to get paid a good rate, now they have the one more tool from DAT to help locate the good ones.

Ratecast Broker Benefits

This time, put yourself in the broker’s shoes for a moment. You are trying to move a load from Dallas to Los Angeles. You notice the average spot rate in this case is about 20 cents more than you are used to paying. Not wanting to give away that potential profit, you use Ratecast to look at the forecasted spot rate for the next 52 weeks and you immediately notice that next week the rates drop sharply. But can you afford to wait?

You talk to your shipper and find that the load isn’t expedited and that you have more time to ship it. What do you do? Well, you wait for those rates to come down, you book your carrier and you save yourself some cash.

Seeing what future rates will look like can substantially change how a broker does their business and how they bid with their shippers. Brokers using Ratecast, knowing what the rate will be in a month, can outbid competition that is basing their knowledge of rates solely on the past. The more loads they get, the more profitable they are and again.

Note: Contract rates are not available at release but will be included at a later date.