Freight index achieves unusual level in October

Spot market freight availability rose 1.9% in October 2013 to a level that is atypically high for the season, according to the DAT North American Freight Index.
Year over year, freight volume increased 24%, setting a same-month record for the fourth consecutive month. Load availability has remained elevated in the second half of the year, countering the more typical pattern of a second quarter peak followed by a decline in late summer.
October’s strong spot market freight volume is consistent with economic indicators that point toward unexpectedly strong growth in that month, in both the manufacturing and service sectors, including retail.
Load availability increased 2.3% for refrigerated (reefer) trailers and 2.6% for vans compared with September 2013, but declined 3.5% for flatbeds.
In contrast to October 2012, reefer loads climbed 22%, van freight volume rose 4.4%, and flatbed freight was up 24%.
Spot market rates were unchanged for vans but declined 1.9% for reefers and 2.5% for flatbeds on a month-over month basis. Compared with October 2012, reefer rates increased 2.6% and van rates rose 3.8%, but rates fell 7.1% for flatbeds.
Additional trend information and analysis is provided at DAT Trendlines or the DAT blog.
Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView. Rates are cited for linehaul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which declined on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. 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 services—DAT Load Boards, TruckersEdge, and DAT RateView—the company hosts more than 90 million spot load and truck listings and compiles $20 billion of transacted shipment data annually. It also supplies automated carrier safety and insurance monitoring through DAT CarrierWatch.
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