PORTLAND, OR — Numbers reported by the DAT North American Freight Index were up for lthe final month of 2013.
Compared to November, the spot market freight availability rose 10 percent in December. According to TransCore, the company that produces the data, the increase capped “two quarters of unusually strong seasonal volume.
“Typically, freight levels peak in the second quarter of the year, fall in Q3, and remain low through year end. This year, a high plateau remained through most of the second half of 2013.”
Another increase was seen when the December 2013 freight volumes were compared to those recorded in December 2012. Levels were up 45% compared with the previous year. This “continued, atypical demand set a sixth consecutive record for same-month freight volume, with the highest level for any December since the DAT Index began in 1996.”
Load availability was also up in all categories: van rose 19%, and refeers were up 14%. Flatbeds changed the least, only increasing 1.0%. When compared year over year, reefer freight volumes were up 65%, followed by flatbed freight—up 43%—while van volumes rose 41%.
The spot market rates for vans rose 5%, making the monthly average US$1.95 per mile, “the highest observed figure since DAT began publishing spot market rates in 2009.” Reefer and flatbed rates were also higher, with reefers up 3.2% (up 6.7% from 2012) and flatbeds up 3.8% (7.8% higher than the previous year).