The January edition of the DAT Truckload Volume Index (TVI), which was recently issued by DAT Freight & Analytics kicked off 2023 in strong fashion.
The DAT Truckload Volume Index reflects the change in the number of loads with a pickup date during that month, with the actual index number normalized each month to accommodate any new data sources without distortion, with a baseline of 100 equal to the number of loads moved in January 2015. It measures dry van, refrigerated (reefer), and flatbed trucks moved by truckload carriers.
January’s van freight TVI—at 223—was up 2.8% compared to December and also up 2.8% annually. The refrigerated TVI—at 174—was up 3.0% compared to December and up 3.6% annually. And the flatbed TVI—at 218—was up 10.7% compared to December and was up 12.4% annually.
DAT said that changes in the TVI represent the number of loads moved with a pickup date during the month. And it added that spot truckload rates are negotiated on a per-load basis and paid to the carrier by a freight broker, with DAT’s rate analysis based on $137 billion in annualized freight transactions.
DAT’s data highlighted the following takeaways for truckload volumes, load-to-truck ratios, and rates, for the month of January, including:
DAT also noted that the gap between average contract and spot rates narrowed in January, with the contract rate up $0.54 compare to the spot rate, down from December’s $0.56-cent difference, with the contract refrigerated rate gap up $0.43, and flatbed up $0.78.
“Volatility gave way to seasonality last month,” said Ken Adamo, DAT’s Chief of Analytics, in a statement. “After a gangbusters January last year, truckload rates followed a more typical pattern and volumes were remarkably steady this year.”