Portland, OR – Spot market freight volumes reported by the DAT North American Freight Index rose 5.6 percent from April to May. The month-over-month increase was consistent with seasonal expectations; freight volume increased from April to May in eight of the past ten years, for an average increase of 6.3 percent, compared to this year’s 5.6 percent uptick. Freight availability rose 19 percent for vans and 27 percent for refrigerated (“reefer”) trailers, but declined 7.2 percent for flatbeds.
Compared to May 2012, when freight reached an all-time high, freight volume declined 13 percent. The decline was largely due to a 24 percent drop in load availability for flatbeds. Van freight also declined 7.1 percent, but there was a 3.6 percent year-over-year increase in reefer loads.
Spot market rates rose 3.9 percent for vans in May, and reefer rates soared 12 percent, but flatbed rates lost 0.6 percent compared to April. On a year-over-year basis, van rates were unchanged, while reefer rates rose 2.5 percent. Flatbeds dropped 8.0 percent from the extremely high rates that accompanied scarce capacity during May 2012.
Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which is based on $18 billion dollars of actual transactions paid by brokers, 3PLs and shippers to carriers. Reference rates are for line haul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which declined in May 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 DAT network of load boards in the United States and Canada.