Spot Market Soft in September

PORTLAND, OR. — September was a softer month for the spot market, according to Transcore’s DAT North American Freight Index.

Transcore attributed the seasonal decline in overall freight volume to a reduction in flatbed and reefer freight availability. Both equipment types, they said, experienced a decline month-over-month, however, while flatbed volumes were down compared to the prior year by 13 percent, reefer freight volumes were actually up 1.1 percent when compared to September 2011.

Van freight volume showed modest gains, rising month-over-month as well as year-over-year.

The net effect was an overall decline in spot market freight volume of 13 percent compared to August and 8.4 percent compared to September 2011.

“Truckload freight rates on the spot market continued the seasonal decline that began in July, although reefer and flatbed rates were up compared to September 2011,” according to TransCore. “Reefer rates dipped 1.2 percent month-over-month but increased 2.5 percent year-over-year; flatbed rates dipped 1.1 percent for the month but rose 1.2 percent when compared to the same month last year. Rates for dry vans declined 1.5 percent compared to August and 1.5 percent compared to September 2011.”

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

Rates are derived from the DAT Truckload Rate Index; rates do not include fuel surcharges, which rose in September on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. Spot market rates are paid by brokers and 3PLs to the carrier.

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