Truckload spot market activity flourishes in June, reports DAT

June was a booming month for spot truckload freight activity, according to data issued this week by DAT Solutions in its DAT North American Freight Index. DAT defines the North American Freight Index as a measure of conditions on the spot truckload freight market.

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June was a booming month for spot truckload freight activity, according to data issued this week by DAT Solutions, a subsidiary of Roper Industries, in its DAT North American Freight Index. DAT defines the North American Freight Index as a measure of conditions on the spot truckload freight market.

Load availability in June hit its highest point in nearly two years, with the index up 24% compared to May, while seeing a 57% annual increase.

All truckload spot market segments tracked by DAT saw gains, including:

  • van freight activity up 35% compared to May and up 68% annually;
  • refrigerated (reefer) freight saw a 23% gain from May to June and a 66% annual increase; and
  • flatbed freight rose 14% in June and increased 66% annually

On the pricing side, DAT reported that tighter capacity led to brokers and shippers paying a premium in major markets and lanes from May to June, with van rates up 11 cents to $1.60 per mile, reefer rates up 10 cents to $2.12 per mile, and flatbed rates up 6 cents at $2.16 per mile.

“Spot rates have remained strong for all three equipment types even though the surcharge portion has been shrinking compared to previous years,” said Mark Montague, DAT industry pricing analyst, in a statement.

Montague also noted that that July typically is a month of transition, when freight activity begins tapering off until the end-of-year holiday season, although 2017 may be an exception, however, as load availability and pricing trends remained strong in the first week of July.

In a recent interview with LM, Montague explained that while things are getting better in the market, Montague made it clear that the growth is not accelerating at such a quick clip that every stakeholder is unanimously on board with the improvement. And he explained that while there may be a “little bit less” capacity out there, there is still “sufficient” capacity in most situations and regions of the U.S.

But he cautioned in a recent blog posting that there are a number of factors that can limit available capacity, including: regulations, fleet costs rising faster than revenues, experienced drivers are in short supply, and rail intermodal unable to accept additional volume on a moment’s notice, leaving little opportunity to release the build up of pressure on truckload capacity. 


About the Author

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. Contact Jeff Berman

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