April volume, rates: Spot load availability falls, base linehaul rates rise

user-gravatar Headshot
Updated May 13, 2015

DAT Freight Index May 2015

Spot market freight volume in April followed a typical seasonal pattern, DAT said, declining 10 percent compared to March and 27 percent compared to April of last year. The company’s DAT North American Freight Index, a measure of truckload freight demand and capacity, showed favorable comparisons to 2013 and all others years, however, foregrounding the extraordinary spot market volume in 2014.

By equipment type, freight volume declined 23 percent for vans and 25 percent for refrigerated (“reefer”) trailers compared to March, but flatbed freight availability increased 18 percent month over month. Rates by equipment type on the spot market followed the trends in volume, slipping 2.5 percent for vans and 0.5 percent for reefers, while flatbed rates rose 0.5 percent, compared to March.

Controlling for declines in fuel prices, base line-haul rates were up, however, viewed year over year, suggesting a continuing good rate environment for independents able to secure freight. Van rates were 4.6 percent higher than in April 2014, reefer rates were up 3.4 percent, and flatbed rates 3.9 percent.

Additional trends and analysis are available at DAT Trendlines.