Spot market freight availability rose 24% in January 2014, exceeding December levels for only the second time since the DAT North American Freight Index began in 1996. More freight flowed to the spot market in both December and January as shippers and their contracted carriers struggled to meet capacity challenges caused by extreme weather.
Year-over-year freight volumes were exceptional, up 45% to a record level not experienced since October 2005, when pent-up demand drove volume to an all-time high in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Reefer loads climbed 83%; van freight added 52%; and flatbed freight nearly doubled, with a 93% increase.
Load availability in January rose 21% for both reefers and vans, while flatbed loads gained 33% compared with the prior month.
Rates in the spot market also remained unusually high in January, despite a slight decline from December’s rate surge. Rates dipped 0.6% for reefers, 1.4% for vans, and 5.5% for flatbeds. Reefer and flatbed rates also increased, 3.2% and 3.8%, respectively, month over month. Compared with January 2013, rates advanced 4.7% for reefers, 16% for vans, and 4.0% for flatbeds.
Additional trend information and analysis is available at DAT Trendlines or the DAT Blog.
Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView. Rates are cited for linehaul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which climbed on a month-over-month basis but declined versus January 2013. The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the TransCore DAT network of load boards in the United States and Canada.
DAT, a unit of TransCore, is a freight marketplace platform and information provider. Through its DAT Load Boards, TruckersEdge, and DAT RateView, the company hosts more than 90 million spot load and truck listings and compiles $24 billion of transacted shipment data annually, as well as automated carrier safety and insurance monitoring through DAT CarrierWatch.
Access www.dat.com for further information.