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DAT North American Freight Index, Dec 2018

Truckload freight volumes end 2018 on a down note

DAT Freight Index numbers indicate that truckload freight volumes slipped 27% in December 2018 compared with the same period in 2017. Load availability on the spot market has trended downward since August as capacity loosened and trucks were more available.

Despite the downturn, volume increased 7% overall for the year versus 2017.

Flatbed rates remained stable month over month, but refrigerated and dry van rates fell slightly due to declining fuel surcharges. Compared with 2017, flatbed rates rose, but reefers and vans lost momentum.

According to Peggy Dorf, DAT Solutions market analyst, a surge in e-commerce freight did not bolster spot market numbers in 2018 as expected because retailers and contract carriers appeared better prepared to handle the rush.

“Contract carriers handled a bigger share of the seasonal loads, taking advantage of new equipment and improved driver retention,” Dorf said.

The DAT Freight Index reflects load posting volumes on DAT load board networks. A rating of 100 represents average monthly volumes in the year 2000. Rates are averaged by equipment type, based on $57 billion of actual transactions recorded in DAT RateView. Rate-per-mile figures include fuel surcharges.

DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 279 million freight matches and a database of $57 billion in annual market transactions. Services include a directory of companies with business history, credit, safety, insurance and company reviews.

Go to www.DAT.com for more information.

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