2014 spot market freight volume set yet another record in September, with a 32% increase compared to September 2013, according to freight matching service provider DAT Solutions and the latest reading from its North American Freight Index.
Spot freight has seen 14 consecutive months of year-over-year peaks, according to DAT, but in a typical seasonal trend, freight availability declined 5.5% in September compared with August.
Compared to September 2013, freight volume rose for all three equipment categories in the U.S. Load availability for dry vans increased 42%, refrigerated freight increased 24%, and flatbed volume added 46%. However, the picture is different compared to August. Freight volume increased 3% for vans, but dipped 4.1% seasonally for reefers and declined 12% for flatbeds.
National average truckload rates also increased on the spot market, for all three equipment types, compared to a year ago. Van rates rose 15%, while rates for reefers and flatbeds both increased 16%. Van rates increased 2.0% in September compared to August while reefer rates rose 2.8%, but flatbed rates slipped 2.1% lower.
Rates are cited for line haul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which declined on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis. The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the DAT Network of load boards in the U.S. and Canada.