Spot market freight volume declined 9.7% in October 2015, in a common seasonal pattern, according to the DAT North American Freight Index.
Although volume fell below same-month levels of the past five years, total volume for the year to-date has exceeded the same period for every year prior to an atypical 2014.
By equipment type, van freight availability sunk 13%, refrigerated trailers lost 16%, and flatbed volume slipped 4.5% lower compared with September. Linehaul rates on the spot market followed the month-over-month volume trends by equipment type, retreating 2.6% for vans, 4.5% for reefers, and 1.7% for flatbeds.
Compared with record spot market volume of 2014, freight was down 44% in October. By equipment type, year over year, van demand decreased 42%, reefer volume fell 34%, and flatbeds dropped 50% versus October 2014.
Linehaul rates dropped 5.7% for vans, 5.6% for reefers, and 5.4% for flatbeds compared with October 2014. Total rates paid to the carrier declined by 15% year over year, however, due to a 48% decrease in the fuel surcharge, which comprises a portion of the rate.
Intermediaries and carriers across North America listed more than 120 million loads and trucks in 2014 on the DAT Network of load boards. As a result of this high volume, the DAT Freight Index is representative of the ups and downs in North American spot market freight movement. In 2015, DAT reformulated the index with 2000 as the baseline year.
Reference rates are the averages, by equipment type, of thousands of actual rate agreements between freight brokers and carriers, as recorded in DAT RateView. Rates are cited for linehaul only, excluding fuel surcharges, except where noted. The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the DAT Network of load boards in the United States and Canada.
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