Spot Market Stays Strong: September DAT Freight Index

Portland, OR – 2014 spot market freight volume set yet another record in September, with a 32 percent increase compared to September 2013. Spot freight has seen 14 consecutive months of year-over-year peaks. In a typical seasonal trend, freight availability declined 5.5 percent compared with August, according to the DAT North American Freight Index.

Compared to September 2013, freight volume rose for all three equipment categories in the U.S. Load availability for dry vans increased 42 percent, refrigerated (“reefer”) freight increased 24 percent, and flatbed volume added 46 percent. National average truckload rates also increased on the spot market, for all three equipment types. Van rates rose 15 percent, while rates for reefers and flatbeds both increased 16 percent.

Compared to August, freight volume increased 3.0 percent for vans, but dipped 4.1 percent seasonally for reefers and declined 12 percent for flatbeds. Van rates increased 2.0 percent and reefer rates rose 2.8 percent, but flatbed rates slipped 2.1 percent lower, month over month.

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.