The DAT North American Freight Index showed a return to post-recession freight volumes during the month of February, following a record-setting January. On a year-over-year basis, freight availability declined 2.5%. Month-over-month spot freight declined 14% when compared to January’s unusually high freight volumes.
Year-over-year freight availability by equipment type varied. A surge in freight for vans and reefers at the end of the month contributed to 7.6% and 7.2% increases respectively compared to February 2012. Flatbed freight declined 11% following seasonal norms.
On a month-over-month basis, van loads slipped 11%, refrigerated (“reefer”) freight volume declined 15%, and flatbed freight availability was unchanged.
Rates increased 0.8% on the spot market in February for vans compared to January but declined 6.0% for reefers and 2.0% for flatbeds. As freight volume rose in the final days of February, van rates also increased. Compared to February 2012, van rates rose 1.6% and reefer rates increased 2.9% while flatbed rates fell 7.5%.
The DAT North American Freight Index is a measure of spot market freight availability in the U.S. and Canada.
Rates are derived from DAT RateView, which is based on $18 billion of actual transactions paid by brokers, 3PLs, and shippers to carriers. These are linehaul rates only and exclude fuel surcharges.