On a month-over-month basis, November load availability was 2.3% lower than in October, but a decline between October and November is typical for the season. In the past five years, spot freight volume has declined month-over-month by an average of 16 percent in those two months, so the 2.3 percent decline seen this year was less severe than normal seasonal patterns.
The national average line-haul rates for refrigerated and flatbed trucks rose by $0.01 (0.7%) on the spot market month-over-month while van rates remained stable, according to TransCore's Truckload Rate Index. These rate trends confirm analysts' assessments of November as a seasonally stronger month than normal for freight, as spot market volumes and rates typically recede in this season. Spot market rates are the rates that brokers and 3PLs pay to the carrier.
Looking ahead to January, the best combinations of high freight volumes and favorable inbound-to-outbound load ratios come from Ohio, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia.