DAT North American Freight Index Shows Continued Strength

  • Spot truckload freight availability declined 9.5% in November
  • Freight volume increased 8% compared to November 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. (Dec. 17, 2013)—Spot market freight availability remained strong in November, outpacing levels seen in recent years and countering typical seasonal trends, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. 

Month over month, freight availability declined 9.5%, the result of four fewer business days in November versus October. Comparing an alternative measure, average daily freight volume during the month actually exceeded October volume by 10%. On a year-over-year basis, freight volume increased 8.0%.

The relative strength of November's overall freight volume was validated by an increase in spot market rates. Rates rose 5.0% for vans and 1.9% for reefers compared to October, while flatbed rates declined seasonally by 2.5%. Compared to October, load availability increased 0.9% for vans but declined 5.0% for refrigerated ("reefer") trailers and 21% for flatbeds, compared to October.

Compared to November 2012, rates rose 6.0% for vans and 1.9% for reefers, but declined 5.4% for flatbeds compared to last year's record high rates in that segment. Van freight volume declined 11%, while reefer loads added 6.2% and flatbed freight increased 4.3% year over year.

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.