Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spot Freight Index Defies Economic News

TransCore's DAT Freight Index, which monitors the spot freight market, continues this year's trend of record same-month freight volumes and a double-digit increase on a year-over-year basis.

July marked the fifth instance of a same-month record in 2012 and the DAT Index outpaced July 2011 levels by 12%, but lagged June 2012 by 20%, says TransCore. The decline follows a consistent pattern seen since the Index began in 1996.

Truckload freight rates on the spot market also followed historic, seasonal patterns, beginning their decline in mid-July.

Rates for dry vans fell 1.4% compared to June, while refrigerated ("reefer") van rates slid 2.8%. Flatbed rates rose in the first half of July before giving back their gains in the second half, resulting in a flat month compared to June.

Despite the month-over-month variances, rates were up from this time last year: 6.8% for vans, 11% for reefers and 3.4% for flatbeds.

Rates are derived from DAT Truckload Rate Index, and do not include fuel surcharges. Spot market rates are paid by brokers and 3PLs to the carrier.

Looking ahead to September, carriers are likely to find relatively high freight volumes and a favorable ratio of outbound loads emerging in the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.

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