Spot market truckload freight volume shot up 62 percent year-over-year in January, according to the TransCore North American Freight Index, setting a new record.
It was the highest volume on record for the month of January, and the seventh straight month when year-over-year volumes exceeded the record levels of 2005.
Load availability last month lagged December by only 2.8 percent, compared with an average 15 percent decline from December to January over the past decade.
By The Numbers: Cass Freight Index
And while dry van, refrigerated and flatbed spot market rates fell slightly from December, truck pricing was significantly higher than a year ago, TransCore said.
Spot van rates increased 14 percent from a year ago in January, flatbed rates were 11 percent higher and spot rates for refrigerated trucks were up 6 percent.
The TransCore index is based on data from the company's DAT Network, which helps match more than 60 million loads and trucks a year in the U.S. and Canada.
Combined with the results of other indices, TransCore's data point to a more than usually resilient economy in the first months of 2011 despite record storms.
The Ceridian-UCLA Pulse of Commerce Index this week reported a slight dip in trucking activity in January but a 3.4 percent year-over-year improvement.
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at email@example.com.