At the beginning of every month, TransCore looks back a month and, among other things, sees if historic, seasonal trends are shaping up.
Fact: In November 2010, TransCore's load boards saw a 72-percent increase in spot market freight availability, compared to November '09.
Observation #1: November freight hasn't been at these levels since 2005, a peak year for spot market volume.
Observation #2: November was the fourth consecutive month of similarly high volume, relative to recent years.
More facts and observations: On a month-over-month basis, November load availability was 2.3 percent lower than in October. An October-November decline is typical, but over the past five years, spot freight volume has dropped month-over-month by an average of 16 percent.
Takeaway: being down 2.3 percent is more of a dip than a decline.
Even more facts and observations: The national average line-haul spot market rates -- rates that brokers and 3PLs pay to a carrier-- for refrigerated ("reefer") and flatbed trucks rose by $0.01 (0.7 percent) on a month-over-month basis, according to TransCore's Truckload Rate Index, while van rates remained stable. These rate trends confirm analysts' assessments of November as a seasonally stronger month than normal for freight, as volumes and spot rates typically recede in this season.
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