DAT North American Freight Index Rises 1.9 Percent, to Atypical October High

Portland, OR – Spot market freight availability rose 1.9 percent 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 24 percent, setting a same-month record for the fourth consecutive month. Load availability has remained elevated in the second half of the year, countering the more typical pattern of a second quarter peak followed by a decline in late summer.

October’s strong spot market freight volume is consistent with economic indicators that point toward unexpectedly strong growth in October, in both the manufacturing and service sectors, including retail.

Load availability increased 2.6 percent for vans and 2.3 percent for refrigerated (“reefer”) trailers compared to September, but declined 3.5 percent for flatbeds.

Compared to October 2012, van freight volume rose 4.4 percent, reefer loads added 22 percent and flatbed freight increased 24 percent.

Spot market rates were unchanged for vans but declined 1.9 percent for reefers and 2.5 percent for flatbeds on a month-over month basis. Compared to October 2012, van rates rose 3.8 percent and reefer rates increased 2.6 percent, but rates declined 7.1 percent for flatbeds.

Additional trend information and analysis is available at DAT Trendlines or the DAT blog.

Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView. 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.