TransCore’s North American Freight Index Shows Strength in Freight Volume and Rates Continued in January

PORTLAND, Ore. - TransCore North American Freight index marked a record high for the month of January, up five percent compared to January 2011. Month-over-month, January’s spot market freight volume slipped eight percent compared to December. The month-over-month seasonal decline is consistent with historic trends but less than the prior ten year average decline of 14 percent.

TransCore’s monthly North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the company’s network of load boards in the United States and Canada.

Truckload freight rates increased 7.3 percent on the spot market for dry vans and 4.5 percent for flatbeds, compared to January 2011, while declining 0.7 percent for refrigerated (“reefer”) vans. The year-over-year rate increase in January continues the trend seen throughout 2011, when spot market rates rose 7.4 percent overall compared to 2010.

Rates followed seasonal patterns for January, which is typically a slow month for trucking freight volume and rates. For dry vans, the predominant equipment type, rates slipped 1.5 percent compared to December. Flatbed rates declined 2.4 percent and reefer rates slipped 6.5 percent month-over-month. These rates are derived from TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index, and do not include fuel surcharges. Spot market rates are paid by brokers and 3PLs to the carrier.