Executive Briefings

Weather Partly Accounts for 16-Percent Decline in April Spot Truckload Freight Volume

Spot market freight volumes declined 16 percent in April compared to April 2012, according to the DAT North American Freight Index. Year-over-year declines in volume were seen across all equipment types: van load volume declined 20 percent, refrigerated ("reefer") loads slipped 10 percent, and flatbed freight dropped 15 percent.

Weather Partly Accounts for 16-Percent Decline in April Spot Truckload Freight Volume

Month-over-month, the DAT Freight Index fell 5.8 percent in April compared to March. Typically, spot market freight volumes increase in April; unusually inclement weather, including floods in the Upper Midwest, may have been a factor in their decline.

Freight availability fell 14 percent for vans and 17 percent for reefers, but rose 6.6 percent for flatbeds, compared to March.

Despite softer volumes, spot market freight rates rose in April across all equipment types, compared to March. Van rates rose 0.8 percent, flatbed rates increased 4.5 percent, and reefer rates climbed 5.5 percent. Compared to April 2012, however, rates declined along with demand for vans and flatbeds, but reefer rates saw an increase. Van rates slipped 0.8 percent and flatbeds dropped 5.3 percent, while reefer rates rose 2.0 percent.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which is based on $18bn of actual transactions paid to carriers by brokers, 3PLs and shippers. Reference rates are for line-haul only, excluding fuel surcharges.

The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the TransCore DAT network of load boards in the United States and Canada.

Source: DAT Freight Index

Month-over-month, the DAT Freight Index fell 5.8 percent in April compared to March. Typically, spot market freight volumes increase in April; unusually inclement weather, including floods in the Upper Midwest, may have been a factor in their decline.

Freight availability fell 14 percent for vans and 17 percent for reefers, but rose 6.6 percent for flatbeds, compared to March.

Despite softer volumes, spot market freight rates rose in April across all equipment types, compared to March. Van rates rose 0.8 percent, flatbed rates increased 4.5 percent, and reefer rates climbed 5.5 percent. Compared to April 2012, however, rates declined along with demand for vans and flatbeds, but reefer rates saw an increase. Van rates slipped 0.8 percent and flatbeds dropped 5.3 percent, while reefer rates rose 2.0 percent.

Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which is based on $18bn of actual transactions paid to carriers by brokers, 3PLs and shippers. Reference rates are for line-haul only, excluding fuel surcharges.

The monthly DAT North American Freight Index reflects spot market freight availability on the TransCore DAT network of load boards in the United States and Canada.

Source: DAT Freight Index

Weather Partly Accounts for 16-Percent Decline in April Spot Truckload Freight Volume