Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Q1 spot market freight volumes reflect seasonality, says DAT

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
May 07, 2013

Typical season patterns were intact for spot market freight volumes in the first quarter of 2013 and in the month of March, according to data recently released by DAT, a subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based TransCore.

DAT said that first quarter sport market freight volumes were up 7.7 percent annually and 11 percent ahead of the fourth quarter of 2012.

And on a monthly basis, March was up 37 percent compared to February, with spot market freight availability 4.5 percent below March 2012. Meanwhile, March spot market freight volumes were up 26 percent for van loads, 33 percent for reefer loads, and 48 percent for flatbed loads compared to February.

DAT noted that spot market van loads and reefer freight availability were up 1.5 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively, in March on an annual basis, and flatbed freight volume was down 11 percent.

For March spot market rates, DAT said rates increased compared to February for all equipment types, with vans and flatbeds up 2.4 percent each respectively, and reefer rates up 2.1 percent. And on an annual basis the company said that rate and freight volume demand trends were consistent for each equipment type, with vans up 1.6 percent, reefers up 1.4 percent, and flatbeds down 4.3 percent.

“March was down modestly annually overall and was fairly unremarkable, especially following the strong January performance we saw,” said David Schrader, senior vice president of DAT’s freight matching business. “What we saw in February and March was more normal behavior and seasonal. The only caveat there is that from a weather perspective was that the first quarter of 2012 was pretty strong from a weather-comparable perspective, with freight levels stronger. And in this year’s first quarter there have been more difficult comparisons.”

Schrader said that January’s strong performance paced a solid first quarter, adding that April was reasonably healthy as well, which he said may be modestly lower on an annual basis.

Looking ahead, Schrader said that the pending July 1 truck driver hours-or-service (HOS) changes could impact spot market freight volumes in that it will affect available capacity supply—but to which extent is unknown.

“The dynamic in our world is that as capacity tightens, freight stays relatively constant and drives more freight into the spot markets,” he explained. “What I would expect to occur as capacity continues to tighten in the second quarter is more robust freight demand in the spot market as there may be a more limited pool of capacity. A relatively small decline in capacity or a small uptick in freight will have a dramatic impact in terms of how much freight moves into the spot market. As that plays out with HOS, it should create a fairly robust spot market.”

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
Jeff Berman
Group News Editor

Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

When it comes to the chances of the December 31, 2015 Positive Train Control (PTC) deadline being extended, something which railroads say is badly needed, it appears they need to be prepared to be disappointed. That was the chief takeaway of a statement from Sarah Feinberg, acting administrator of the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

It’s said that innovation will lead the economy out of its current funk. But how does an organization become a perpetually innovative company? That’s one of the questions Kai Engel and his co-authors at A.T. Kearney set out to answer in their new book Masters Of Innovation.

At $2.843, the average price per gallon was down 1.6 cents, following last week’s 1.1 cent drop and a cumulative 7.1 cent cumulative drop over the last five weeks.

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman caught up with UPS Freight President Jack Holmes at the National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council’s (NASSTRAC) Annual Conference and Exhibition. Berman and Holmes spoke about various aspects of the less-than-truckload sector (LTL), as well as related freight transportation news and trends.

In the third-party logistics (3PL) sector, the ongoing trend of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity never seems to take a break. That is apparent in recent weeks alone, with XPO Logistics recent acquisition of Norbert Dentressangle for $3.53 billion, Echo Global Logistics scooping up Command Transportation for $420 million, and Kuehne+Nagel buying ReTrans for an undisclosed sum.

Article Topics

News · DAT · HOS · TransCore · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA