Spot market freight volume remained strong in May 2015, edging down just 1.7% compared with April, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Versus the extraordinary volume of May 2014, freight declined 27%.
Compared with long-term historical trends, volume exceeded same-month totals for 16 of the 18 years since the DAT Freight Index was established in 1997.
By equipment type, May freight volume dipped 0.8% month over month for vans and 4.6% for flatbeds, while refrigerated (reefer) freight increased 8.1%. Rates on the spot market followed the trends in volume by equipment type, slipping 1.9% for vans and 0.5% for flatbeds, while reefer rates rose 2.7% over April. Fuel prices climbed from April to May, and the additional surcharge led to an increase in the total rate paid for flatbeds as well as reefers, but the total rate for vans fell month over month despite the surcharge.
On a year-over-year basis, freight volume decreased 16% for vans and 41% for flatbeds, but advanced 2.5% for reefers compared with May 2014. Linehaul rates trended up, with van rates adding 4.7%, flatbeds up 2.2%, and reefer rates gaining 2.7%, year over year. The total rate declined for all equipment types, however, due to a steep drop in fuel prices and associated surcharges.
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 derived from 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.
Portland OR-basd DAT Solutions operates a leading network of load boards and is a source of supply and demand trends, rate benchmarking, and capacity planning information. Related services include a directory of companies with business history, credit, safety, insurance and company reviews; broker transportation management software; fuel tax, mileage, vehicle licensing, and registration services; mobile resource management; and carrier onboarding.
Access www.dat.com for more information.