The spot market for truckload freight surged 55 percent year-over-year in December, according to the TransCore North American Freight Index.
Month-to-month, spot market volume increased 0.2 percent from November, indicating freight demand remained stable in the last months of 2010.
The increase in TransCore's index shows retailers kept trucks moving right through the holiday season, replenishing inventory throughout December.
By The Numbers: Year 2009-2010 Cass Freight Index.
Typically, spot market demand declines from November to December. From 2001 through 2008, spot freight volume fell 19 percent on average in that period.
Demand measured by the December spot market index was 215 percent higher than two years ago. The index is down about 32 percent from its high point this April, when tight capacity and a surge in inventory restocking sent rates rocketing.
Dry van spot market rates remained stable, TransCore said, reflecting high demand for freight services and concerns about potential capacity shortages.
The national average refrigerated rates softened 3.3 percent, and flatbed spot rates slipped by one cent, which is normal for the season, TransCore said.
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