DAT North American Freight Index Rises 1.9% to Atypical October High

  • Spot truckload freight availability rises 1.9% in October
  • Freight volume increased 24% compared to October 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 12, 2013)—Spot market freight availability rose 1.9% in October to a level that is atypically high for the season, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Year over year, freight volume increased 23.6%, setting a same-month record for the fourth consecutive month. 

October’s strong spot market freight volume is consistent with economic indicators that point to unexpectedly strong growth in both the manufacturing and service sectors, including retail. Load availability has remained elevated throughout the second half of 2013, countering the more typical pattern of a second-quarter peak followed by a late-summer decline. 

Compared to September, load availability increased 2.6% for vans and 2.3% for refrigerated ("reefer") trailers, but declined 3.5% for flatbeds. Spot market rates were unchanged for vans but dipped 1.9% for reefers and 2.5% for flatbeds.

Compared to October 2012, van freight volume rose 4.4%, reefer loads added 22%, and flatbed freight increased 24%. Van rates rose 3.8% and reefer rates increased 2.6%, but flatbed rates declined 7.1%.

Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView, which is based on more than $24 billion in actual market transactions. Rates are cited for line haul 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.