Truckload spot market, five-year trend.

Truckload spot market, five-year trend.

Truckload freight availability remained elevated in July compared to previous years despite a seasonal dip, according to the DAT North American Freight Index released Friday.

Same-month volume was up 32% compared to 2013, when freight volume was unusually robust. Spot market volume typically peaks in June, and this year's seasonal contraction was only 11% in July, compared to the 10-year average decline of 19%.

Compared to July 2013, freight volume increased 40% for vans, 28% for reefers and 52% for flatbeds. The increased demand, together with capacity constraints, caused spot market truckload rates to rise year over year for all major equipment types. Van rates rose 15%, reefer rates were up 6.3% and flatbed rates rose 15% compared to July 2013.

The month-over-month freight volume decline was reflected in the three major equipment types. Van loads lost 15%, while refrigerated freight dropped 10% and flatbed volume declined 11%.

Spot truckload rates also declined slightly, with vans losing 1.3% and reefer rates dropping 3.6 % from the June peak. Flatbed rates were up 0.5% as a national average in July, compared to June.

Reference rates are derived from DAT RateView, which measures real-time spot market and current contract freight rates. Rates are cited for line haul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which declined on a month-over-month in July basis but increased compared to July 2013. The index reflects spot market freight availability on the DAT Network of load boards in the United States and Canada.