Spot market freight availability remained strong in October, continuing a 15-month streak of record demand for truckload services, according to new numbers from the freight matching service provider DAT Solutions.
Volume increased 25%, compared to October 2013, with a 3.7% month-over-month decline that is consistent with seasonal trends and pushing the company’s North American Freight Index higher compared to a year ago. The index reflects spot market freight availability on the DAT Network of load boards in the United States and Canada.
On a year-over-year basis, freight volume rose on the spot market for all three equipment categories in the U.S. Load availability for dry vans increased 42 %, refrigerated freight increased 20%, and flatbed volume added 36%. Compared to September, freight volume increased 2.4% for vans, but dipped 1.5% for reefers and declined 10% for flatbeds.
National average truckload rates increased in the year-over-year period for all three equipment types. Van rates rose 15%, reefer rates increased 18%, and flatbeds added 16%. Compared to September, October rates increased 0.6% in the van category, but reefer rates slipped 2.2% and flatbed rates lost 0.5%, in a seasonal pattern.
Rates cited for line haul only, excluding fuel surcharges, which declined on both a month-over-month and year-over-year basis.