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DAT Freight Index: Spot Market Truckload Demand Outpaces Capacity in December

/EIN News/ -- PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- December capped a banner year for spot market demand. The monthly national averages for both dry and refrigerated (“reefer”) van rates were the highest of 2017, while the national average flatbed rate matched its yearly peak. The availability of truckload freight in December – bolstered by retail shipments, demand for fresh and frozen foods, and e-commerce fulfillment – was 25 percent higher than in December of 2016, as measured by the DAT North American Freight Index.

DAT North American Freight Index 2013-2017
Truckload freight volume in December 2017 finished off an extraordinary year, 25% higher than in December 2016, according to DAT Solutions, operator of the industry's largest load board. Freight volumes were bolstered by retail shipments, demand for fresh and frozen foods, and e-commerce fulfillment.


The Index, a sensitive indicator of demand for transportation services, is published monthly by DAT Solutions, which operates North America’s largest digital truckload freight marketplace.

Overall freight volume fell 3 percent when compared to an exceptionally strong November, but other capacity constraints such as inclement weather in several parts of the country, plus the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate – which went into effect on Dec. 18 – meant that shippers and freight brokers paid premiums for available trucks.

Van rates averaged $2.11 nationally, up 4 cents compared to November. That’s the highest monthly average since DAT first started tracking freight rates in DAT RateView in 2010.

Van volumes rose 12 percent month-over-month in December, while truck posts decreased 14 percent. That resulted in a load-to-truck ratio of 9 – also the highest monthly average ever recorded in DAT Trendlines. The load-to-truck ratio measures the number of available loads for each truck posted on the DAT Network of load boards, and a change in the ratio often signals impending changes in rates.

Late fall harvests also pushed the reefer load-to-truck ratio up 18 percent to 14.1, its highest point since March of 2014. The average reefer rate for December was $2.46 per mile, which was 3 cents higher than the November average and another all-time high.

Flatbed trends were a little less dramatic. Volumes increased 2 percent when compared to November, while the national average rate remained at $2.33 per mile for the third month in a row.

About DAT Solutions

DAT operates the largest truckload freight marketplace in North America. Transportation brokers, carriers, news organizations and industry analysts rely on DAT for market trends and data insights derived from 179 million freight matches in 2017, and a database of $33 billion of market transactions. Related services include a comprehensive directory of companies with business history, credit, safety, insurance and company reviews; broker transportation management software; authority, fuel tax, mileage, vehicle licensing, and registration services; and carrier onboarding. Founded in 1978, DAT Solutions LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Roper Technologies (NYSE:ROP), a diversified technology company and constituent of the S&P 500, Fortune 1000, and Russell 1000 indices. DAT.com

Contact:

Eileen Hart
Vice President, Marketing & Corporate Communications
PR@dat.com | 503-672-5132

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