Spot Freight Volume Holds, Rates Decline

PORTLAND, OR — Spot market freight volume remained nearly stable in September, but rates generally continued moving lower, according to the DAT North American Freight Index that’s based on the DAT Solutions network of load boards in Canada and the U.S.

By equipment type, van freight levels increased 2.3 percent month-over-month, reefer freight added 2.1 percent, and flatbed volume lost 5.1 percent. 

Line haul rates on the spot market, which exclude fuel surcharges, followed the month-over-month volume trends by equipment type, rising 0.7 percent for vans while remaining stable for reefers but with a 0.6 percent decline for flatbeds.

Compared to atypically strong spot market volume of 2014, freight was down 41 percent in September.  By equipment type, year-over-year, van freight availability declined 33 percent, reefers were down 26 percent, and flatbeds fell 54 percent.

Line haul rates declined 2.6 percent for vans, while reefer rates lost 3.3 percent and flatbeds dropped 5.3 percent compared to September 2014. Total rates paid to the carrier declined by 13 to 15 percent year over year due to a 50 percent decline in the fuel surcharge, which comprises a portion of the rate.

Intermediaries and carriers across North America listed more than 120 million loads and trucks last year on the DAT network of load boards, according to the company, making the DAT Freight Index representative of the ups and downs in North American spot market freight movement.


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