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Freight index figures show unusual year-end advance

Jan. 21, 2014
Spot market freight availability rose 10% in December 2013 compared with November, according to the DAT North American Freight Index, capping two quarters of unusually strong seasonal volume.
Spot market freight availability rose 10% in December 2013 compared with November, according to the DAT North American Freight Index, capping two quarters of unusually strong seasonal volume. Typically, freight levels peak in Q2, fall in Q3, and remain low through year-end, but 2013’s pattern formed a high plateau through most of the second half, according to the company.
Compared with December 2012, freight volume increased 45%, and the 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 in December rose 14% for refrigerated (reefer) trailers, 19% for vans, and 1.0% for flatbeds versus the prior month. Year over year, reefer loads added 65%, van freight volume climbed 41%, and flatbed freight gained 43%. Rates in the spot market rose 5.0% for vans, to a monthly average of $1.95 per mile, the highest observed since DAT began publishing spot market rates in 2009. Reefer and flatbed rates also increased, 3.2% and 3.8%, respectively, month over month. In contrast to December 2012, rates rose 6.7% for reefers, 15% for vans, and 7.8% for flatbeds. Additional trend information and analysis is available at DAT Trendlines or the DAT Blog. Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView. Rates are cited for linehaul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which advanced on a month-over-month basis but declined versus December 2012. The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the TransCore DAT network of load boards in the United States and Canada. DAT, a unit of TransCore, is a freight marketplace platform and information provider. Through its DAT Load Boards, TruckersEdge, and DAT RateView, the company hosts more than 90 million spot load and truck listings and compiles $24 billion of transacted shipment data annually, as well as automated carrier safety and insurance monitoring through DAT CarrierWatch.

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