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Spot Truckload Market Remains Strong in U.S., Canada

Truckload freight availability remained elevated compared to previous years despite a seasonal dip, according to the DAT North American Freight Index, a measure of truckload freight demand and capacity in the United States and Canada. Same-month volume was up 32 percent compared to 2013, when freight volume was unusually robust. Spot market volume typically peaks in June; this year's seasonal contraction was 11 percent in July compared to the 10-year average decline of 19 percent.

Compared to July 2013, freight volume increased 40 percent for vans, 28 percent for reefers, and 52 percent 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 percent, refrigerated rates were up 6.3 percent, and flatbed rates rose 15 percent compared to July 2013.

The month-over-month freight volume declined 15 percent for posted van loads, 10 percent for reefer loads, and 11 percent for flatbed loads. National average spot truckload rates also declined slightly, with the van rate losing 1.3 percent and the reefer rate dropping 3.6 percent from the June peak. The flatbed rate was up 0.5 percent as a national average in July, compared to June.

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

Source: DAT Solutions

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