Following an established seasonal pattern, spot market freight volume declined 15% in November 2015, month over month, largely due to a drop in demand for flatbed trucks.
Freight volume has declined in November in every year except 2012, according to the DAT North American Freight Index, which has recorded monthly spot market freight levels since 1997.
By equipment type, van freight availability fell a modest 2.9%, while flatbed trailers lost 39%, but refrigerated (reefer) volume increased 9.1% compared with October. Spot market rates edged up 0.7% for vans and 0.6% for reefers, month over month. Flatbed rates dropped 4.0%, however, due to seasonal pressure.
Overall freight availability slid 45% from the record demand of November 2014. Although November volume was lower than same-month levels of the past five years, strong volume from the first half of this year boosted volume for the year to-date. That total was higher than the comparable period in any year prior to 2013.
By equipment type, van demand was down 43%, flatbed volume fell 53%, and reefer freight availability retreated 41% compared with November 2014. Linehaul rates declined 8.6% for vans, 7.2% for flatbeds, and 11% for reefers, year over year. Total rates paid to the carrier decreased by 17%, however, due to a 49% drop 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 2104 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.
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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