Spot market truckload freight volume rose 38 percent in February from the previous month and 65 percent from a year ago, according to TransCore.
February's volume level was the highest for that month reported since TransCore founded its North American Freight Index in 1986, the company said.
Spot market demand as measured by the index hit a record in January as well.
The Longbow Research Truckload Barometer this week dropped from 164.5 to 155.8, a modest week-to-week decrease after an 18.9 percent leap the prior week.
Flatbed volume jumped 44 percent from January, while dry van freight increased 38 percent and refrigerated freight traffic rose 30 percent.
Spot market loads outstripped available trucks, as capacity tightened. The dry van load-to-truck ratio was up 64 percent from January and 85 percent from a year ago.
According to TransCore, the availability of trucks on the spot market declined 14 percent last month from January and 15 percent from February 2010.
That sent dry van rates up 4 percent and flatbed rates up 3.8 percent month-to-month, TransCore said. Refrigerated spot rates declined 1.4 percent.
Demand for flatbed trucks was more than double a year ago, with the flatbed load-to-truck ratio rising 109 percent year over year and 62 percent from January.
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