Freight volumes on the spot market were down — out of trend — 16 percent in April of this year from April 2012, according to the DAT North American Freight Index, which says that bad weather — like floods in the Midwest — could have been one of the driving forces in the decline.
According to DAT, spot market freight volumes usually increase in April.
All three segments (van, reefer, flatbed) saw decline in freight volumes. Van loads declined 20 percent, while reefer loads dropped 10 percent and flatbed 15 percent.
April’s NAFI was down 5.8 percent from March. Though volume was lower, rates rose in the month, DAT said. All three segments saw a boost in rates from March. Compared to April 2012, though, rates were not as strong, as reefer and van saw small decreases year over year. Reefer rates did rise 2 percent from April 2012.
Here’s a chart tracking DAT’s Freight Index readings from the last 4 years:
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.