TransCore data cites highest spot market freight availability on record for August
September 17, 2010 - LM Editorial
The drumroll for high spot market freight availability continues to beat along, according to the most recent data from the TransCore North American Freight Index.
For the month of August, TransCore reported that spot market freight availability was up 75 percent year-over-year, although company officials noted that annual comparisons n the coming months are likely to wane, due to improving freight volume levels TransCore has seen so far in the second half of this year.
TransCore data indicates that from July to August load volume declined by 14 percent, which continues a seasonal pattern seen over the last five years which has seen spot market loads decline by an average of five percent from July to August.
TransCore also reported that freight designated for vans on the spot market dipped 14 percent from July to August, which, the company said may be due to an increase in imports. This is supported by recent data from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Department of Commerce, which have each reported imports growing on sequential and annual levels.
And as LM has reported and TransCore cites, recent import growth may be driven by U.S.-bound ocean containers hit high levels in July to avoid hectic West Coast ports and to meet retailers’ inventory needs ahead of the holiday season. Some of these shipments may also be responsible for high intermodal volumes, too, which TransCore said could have led to a shift in spot market volume.
While some of the sequential declines are seasonal, other indices, such as the American Trucking Associations Tonnage Index and the Cass Freight Index, are also showing sequential declines especially when compared to a strong first half of the year.
“Due to a tough 2009, all these year-over-year numbers look great,” said Lana Batts, a partner at Transport Capital Partners, in a recent interview. “One would expect that on an annual basis, even though some numbers are trending down month-over-month. Based on numbers from different indices, the peak for tonnage and spot market freight seems to be May.”
Batts said that many carriers are not at optimistic as they once were about volumes but they are still optimistic, even though they are not likely to rise at the levels they did earlier in the year. She added that most carriers are not seeing volumes decline, instead, they appear to be settling in.
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