Spot market freight volume stays steady in September

Spot market freight volume stays steady in September

Spot market freight volume remained stable in September 2015, edging down only 0.6% month-over-month, as modest increases in freight for van and refrigerated trailers were offset by a decline in flatbed demand, according to the DAT North American Freight Index.

By equipment type, van freight levels advanced 2.3% month-over-month, reefer freight added 2.1%, and flatbed volume lost 5.1% compared with August. Linehaul rates on the spot market followed the month-over-month volume trends by equipment type, rising 0.7% for vans, and remaining stable for reefers, with a 0.6% drop for flatbeds.

Compared with atypically strong spot market volume of 2014, freight was down 41% in September. By equipment type, year-over-year, van freight availability decreased 33%, reefers lost 26%, and flatbeds plummeted 54%.

Linehaul rates fell 2.6% for vans, while reefer rates retreated 3.3% and flatbeds dropped 5.3% versus September 2014. Total rates paid to the carrier decreased by 13% to 15% year-over-year, however, due to a 50% decline 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. Beginning in January 2015, the DAT Index was rebased so 100 on the index represents the average monthly volume in the year 2000. Additional trends and analysis are available at DAT Trendlines.

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