Spot Market Stays Strong: July DAT Freight Index

Portland, OR – Truckload freight availability remained elevated compared to previous years despite a seasonal dip, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Same-month volume was up 32 percent compared to 2013, when freight volume was unusually robust. Spot market volume typically peaks in June, and this year’s seasonal contraction was only 11 percent in July, compared to the 10-year average decline of 19 percent.

Compared to July 2013, freight volume increased 40 percent for vans, 28 percent for reefers and 52 percent for flatbeds. The increased demand, together with capacity constraints, caused spot market truckload rates to rise year over year for all major equipment types: van rates rose 15 percent, reefer rates were up 6.3 percent, and flatbed rates rose 15 percent compared to July 2013.

The month-over-month freight volume decline was reflected in the three major equipment types: van loads lost 15 percent, while refrigerated (“reefer”) freight dropped 10 percent and flatbed volume declined 11 percent. Spot truckload rates also declined slightly, with vans losing 1.3 percent and reefer rates dropping 3.6 percent from the June peak. Flatbed rates were up 0.5 percent as a national average in July, compared to June.

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 June 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.