Spot market truckload volumes fall sequentially, rise annually, reports DAT
October 15, 2013
DAT, a subsidiary of Portland, Oregon-based TransCore, recently reported that spot market truckload volume dropped 5.3 percent from August to September, based on its DAT North American Freight Index. Company officials said that this decline is seasonal.
On an annual basis, DAT said that its index was up 22 percent, hitting its highest mark for September since it created the index in 1996.
DAT explained that third quarter volumes usually begin to trend down in July, with mixed volumes in August and September, and it also noted that third quarter volume was ahead of last year’s third quarter by 13 percent. Part of the annual boost, the firm said, was attributed to difficult weather conditions early in 2013, which pushed back agricultural and construction-related volumes into the third quarter.
Industry stakeholders have observed that spot market pricing has been up modestly of late, but many have indicated that both pricing and spot market volumes could see gains depending on economic activity and the impact of the recently introduced motor carrier Hours-of-Service regulations that took effect on July 1.
“We need a few more months to fully gauge the impact of HOS in terms of how it could impact spot market rates,” said a shipper whom declined to be identified. “With carriers having as much difficulty as ever retaining drivers, it would not be too surprising to see rate increase through the rest of October and into November.”
DAT said that load availability from August to September was down 1.6 percent and 4.6 percent for vans and flatbeds, respectively, and up 1.1 percent for refrigerated freight. On the rates side, it said that September flatbed rates rise 0.7 percent, with refrigerated up 1.9 percent and flatbeds falling 8.1 percent.
Compared to September 2012, van freight volume headed up 12 percent, and flatbeds were up 43 percent, with freight designated for reefers up 30 percent, and year-to-date volume is up 1.3 percent through September.
Van rates were up 3.8 percent and reefer rates were up 4.5 percent, with flatbed rates down 8.1 percent.
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