Spot market freight availability rose 1.9% in October, to a level that is atypically high for the season, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Year-over-year, freight volume increased 24%, setting a same-month record for the fourth consecutive month. Load availability has remained elevated in the second half of the year, countering the more typical pattern of a second quarter peak followed by a decline in late summer.

October's strong spot market freight volume is consistent with economic indicators that point toward unexpectedly strong growth in October, in both the manufacturing and service sectors, including retail.

Load availability increased 2.6% for vans and 2.3% for refrigerated trailers compared to September, but declined 3.5% for flatbeds.

Compared to October 2012, van freight volume rose 4.4%, reefer loads added 22% and flatbed freight increased 24%.

Spot market rates were unchanged for vans but declined 1.9% for reefers and 2.5% for flatbeds on a month-over month basis. Compared to October 2012, van rates rose 3.8% and reefer rates increased 2.6%, but rates declined 7.1% for flatbeds.