Demand Remains Strong, Shows Seasonal Trends: October DAT Freight Index

Spot market freight availability remained strong in October, continuing a 15-month streak of record demand for truckload services. Volume increased 25 percent, compared to October 2013, with a 3.7 percent month-over-month decline that is consistent with seasonal trends, according to the DAT North American Freight Index.

On a year-over-year basis, freight volume rose on the spot market for all three equipment categories in the U.S. Load availability for dry vans increased 42 percent, refrigerated (“reefer”) freight increased 20 percent, and flatbed volume added 36 percent. National average truckload rates also increased, for all three equipment types: Van rates rose 15 percent, reefer rates rose 18 percent, and flatbeds added 16 percent, compared to 2013.

Compared to September, freight volume increased 2.4 percent for vans, but dipped 1.5 percent seasonally for reefers and declined 10 percent for flatbeds. The added demand boosted van rates by 0.6 percent, but reefer rates slipped 2.2 percent and flatbed rates lost 0.5 percent, in a seasonal pattern.

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 DAT Network of load boards in the United States and Canada. Additional trends and analysis are available at DAT Trendlines.