February saw freight volume drop 37% year-over-year and spot market freight availability decline for the second consecutive month -- yet rates were up year over year, according to the latest DAT North American Freight Index.
The 6% drop in month-over-month volume was largely attributed to last year's excellent numbers, which were pushed up by the extreme demand caused by the 2014 Polar Vortex weather event, said DAT.
Linehaul rates actually trended up year-over-year to compensate for declining fuel surcharges. Rates for vans increased 6.7%, for reefers 7.7% and for flatbeds 8.4%.
On the other hand, starting off with two down months, DAT pointed out that 2015 is mimicking the same pattern seen in 2013, albeit at a higher volume.
Compared with February 2014, last month freight volume fell 34% for vans, 45% for flatbeds and 15% for reefers.
February freight volume by equipment type declined 3.9% for vans, 3.4% for flatbeds and 18% for reefers compared to January. Truckload rates on the spot market fell in February compared to the previous month by 1.9% for vans, 3.2% for flatbeds and 5.2% for reefers.