Fleet Management

Spot Freight Index up Over January, Not Year Over Year

March 19, 2012

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TransCore's DAT North American Freight index was up 24% in February compared to January, but down 5.2% compared to February 2011, when the spot market recorded unseasonably strong freight volumes.
In seven of the last 10 years February has seen month-over-month freight volume increases averaging 21%.

TransCore's monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the company's network of load boards in the United States and Canada.

Truckload freight rates followed seasonal patterns on the spot market for February, which is typically a slow month. For dry vans, the predominant equipment type, rates slipped 4.5% compared to January. Flatbed rates slipped 0.6% and rates for refrigerated vans declined 2.1% month-over-month.

Compared to February 2011, rates were unchanged for vans, while flatbed rates increased 1.3% and reefer rates declined 2.1%. These rates are derived from the company's DAT Truckload Rate Index, and do not include fuel surcharges. Spot market rates are paid by brokers and 3PLs to the carrier.

Looking ahead to April, the best combination of relatively high freight volume and a favorable ratio of outbound loads are expected to emerge in Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, Indiana and North Carolina, according to TransCore.

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