TransCore's DAT Freight Index for August outpaced year-ago levels by 8.4%. This is the sixth time in 2012 volume has exceeded prior year levels.
DAT Freight Index
DAT Freight Index

Freight volume on the spot market, month-over-month, edged above July 2012 by 1.1%. Freight volume typically increases modestly on the spot market from July to August during non-recessionary periods.

Truckload freight rates on the spot market continued their expected seasonal decline in August from their June peak, however, rates across all equipment types were higher year-over-year.

Rates for dry vans declined 5% compared to July but were up 2.3% versus August 2011. Refrigerated van rates slid 4.7% but increased 5.8% year-over-year. Flatbed rates dipped 1.1% but rose 2.9% when compared to the same month last year. Reference rates are derived from 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 October, the Midwest is the place for freight. Relatively high load volumes and a favorable ratio of outbound loads are likely to be found in Ohio, Ill., Ind. and Wis.

Intermediaries and carriers across North America list more than 68 million loads and trucks per year across a variety of services feeding TransCore's DAT Network of Load Boards, including Link Logistics, the company's Canadian subsidiary. As a result of this high volume, TransCore says, the DAT Freight Index is representative of the ups and downs in North American spot market freight movement.