Spot Market Freight Volume Remains High in May: DAT Freight Index

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 11, 2014)—Spot market freight availability as measured by the DAT North American Freight Index has run high since July 2013 due to factors including extraordinary weather events, regulatory changes, and driver shortages. May 2014 extends the trend, becoming the eleventh consecutive month to post a year-over-year record high, a 40% increase over last May. 

Month over month, however, May freight volumes declined 2.1% compared to April.

Freight volume for vans, the predominant equipment category, was up 25%, refrigerated freight volume increased 18%, and flatbed freight volume rose 85% compared to May 2013. 

Month-over-month, van freight availability was fairly stable with a 1.0% decline, reefer freight dropped 4.8%, and flatbed volume lost 1.6%.

The increase in freight, together with capacity constraints, added pressure to rates. Compared to May 2013, the average van rate rose 18%, the average reefer rate jumped 20%, and the flatbed rate increased 12%. Month over month, the average rate declined 2.0% for vans while the reefer rate increased 3.4% and the flatbed rate rose 1.1%.

Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView. Rates are cited for line haul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which declined on a month-over-month basis but increased compared to May 2013. 

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. Additional trends and analysis are available at DAT Trendlines.