To forecast rates in RateView, you need only to conduct a single lane search. Your choices of equipment types remain as Flatbed, Van or Reefer. Once you’ve completed the search, just click the Ratecast option and the future is right before your eyes!
Take note of the graph and what it displays. Ratecast will give you a 52-week outlook of the rate in the lane you are looking.
Note: Pay close attention to the geography listed on the graph as it may be different than the rate viewed on the History graph. Also, rates shown in the History include a fuel surcharge, whereas forecasted rates do not.
Hovering over any of the dots will display the forecasted rate for that week, with the upper and lower-forecast interval.
8-day & 52-Week Forecast
Ratecast offers you both a look at the near future and the far. Easily toggle between looking at the 8-day forecast and the 52-Week forecast, depending on your needs.
Are you looking to submit a bid next Wednesday? Need to see what rates are forecasted to be in December? No matter your needs, Ratecast has the outlook for you.
Accuracy & Benefits
And what about that forecasted rate? How accurate is it? Forecasted rates are based on the actual history of the rate in the lane being searched combined with DAT's past forecasting of it. DAT uses the median average error (MAE) to determine the accuracy of past forecasts in order to display the current forecasted rate.
Consider the following example...
In this example we are forecasting two days ahead to see what the expected rate will be. According to Ratecast, it is forecasted to be $2.43. The upper end of the range is $2.48, which is the median average error, or MAE, of past forecasts. The lower end of this range is $2.39, which is also the MAE of past forecasts. Using that information, the median is formed and the forecasted rate can be provided in the most accurate way.
Having such a long-term vision of the future of rates is hugely beneficial, whether you are a broker or a carrier, when it comes to planning ahead.
Brokers can look ahead at what their future bids look like to their shippers and where they may be able to offer better prices to shippers, or when they might need to tighten their belts. Knowing that rates are going to be super high in 3 months may influence them to try to test a higher bidding strategy with their customers in order to make a little extra money before the market goes bad. That could mitigate the loss they are expected to have in 3 months.
Carriers also can use the forecasted rates for planning ahead. Noticing that the rates will be spiking higher than normal next week in Boston, an owner-operator may try to find a load going there so that they can take advantage of the spike themselves. And for the carrier that sees that their normal lane is collapsing and the rates are forecasted to bottom out, they may seek out a more equitable lane before those trying times hit.
There are so many ways that you can use forecasted data… it’s virtually limitless!
Tip: When comparing historical rates to forecasted rates, make sure you do so without the fuel surcharge included on the historical graph to get an "apples-to-apples" comparison. You can do this by clicking on the Subtract Fuel link as seen here: