Spot Freight Rates Generally Down In Past Month, Year

May 11, 2015

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Spot market freight volume in April followed a typical seasonal pattern, declining 10% from March, while rates posted a more moderate drop.

New DAT North American Freight Index figures show freight volume declined 23% for vans and 25% for refrigerated trailers while flatbed freight availability increased 18%.

Rates by equipment type on the spot market followed the trends in volume, slipping 2.5% for vans in April from March, 0.5% for reefers, while flatbed rates rose 0.5%

Year over year, freight availability declined 27% compared to the extraordinary volume of 2014. When compared to 2013 and all previous years, April 2015 volume exceeded same-month totals, according to DAT.

Freight volume declined for all equipment types in April compared to a year earlier with vans down 18%, reefers 4.9% lower and a 38% drop flatbeds.

In contrast, line haul rates trended up with van increasing 4.6%, reefers up 3.4% and flatbed gaining 3.9% compared to April 2014.

Although the line-haul portion of the rate increased year over year, carriers received a lower total rate due to declining fuel prices and associated surcharges. The total rate declined on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis for all equipment types.

The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the DAT Solutions network of load boards in the U.S. and Canada.

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