TransCore's Freight Index was up 39% in October compared to the same month in 2010. This measurement of spot market freight volume was the highest for the month of October since 2005, when pent-up demand boosted load volumes to record levels following Hurricane Katrina.
Compared to September, spot market freight volume slipped 3.7% month-over-month.

Truckload freight rates likewise increased year-over-year on the spot market for all equipment types, but mixed results emerged in October compared to September.

For dry vans, rates rose 6.3% compared to October 2010, and increased 1.5% compared to September. National average rates for flatbeds increased 12% year over year, but remained stable compared to September. Refrigerated van rates rose 2.7% year over year but cooled seasonally by 2.5% versus September.

These reference rates are derived from TransCore's Truckload Rate Index, and do not include fuel surcharges. Spot market rates are paid by brokers and 3PLs to the carrier.

Looking ahead to December, TransCore predicts that select Midwestern states will likely offer relatively high freight volume and a good ratio of outbound loads. Top choices there include Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin. In the Southeast, Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina also look strong for early winter.