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Spot Market Freight Levels and Rates Bounce Back in June from May

July 8, 2013

By Evan Lockridge

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While June was a better month than May for spot market freight, it still was nowhere as good compared to the same time a year ago. However, things are expected to improve, at least month-to-month.

Numbers just released from the freight-matching service provider DAT show while total spot market loads increased in June 2.4% from the month before, it fell 4.7% from the same time a year ago.

Rates did turn in substantial growth in June from the month before time frame, with those for vans increasing 2.7%, flatbeds gaining 1.4% and reefers surging 6.1%.

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However, compared to June 2012, the rate situation shows no change for vans and flatbeds falling 6.5%. The only bright spot was reefers gaining 1.3%, but not enough to keep up with increasing fuel costs which moved 2.4% higher during the same time.

June also showed big improvements from May when it comes to load-to-truck ratios, with all three main categories posting gains of between 14% and 26%. Conversely, when June is compared to the same time in 2012, vans and flatbeds posted double-digit declines with reefers down just 2.1%

Freight rates generally moved lower duing June, despite improving from May. Graphic: DAT
Freight rates generally moved lower duing June, despite improving from May. Graphic: DAT

For the week ending June 29, rates stood at $1.87 per mile for vans, down 3 cents in the past three weeks. Reefers were at $2.27, down from $2.35, while flatbeds were at $2.16, down 1 cent from three weeks earlier, both in the same time frame

Writing in his blog, DAT Analyst Mark Montague said he expects instead of the usual mid-summer slump during July, freight volume should be similar to June. He attributes the expectation to increasing consumer spending, better new home starts and increasing manufacturing.

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