The TransCore DAT North American Freight Index rose 42 percent year-over-year in January, the highest-ever volume for that month.
TransCore North American Freight Index
Index Level and Year-Over-Year Percentage Change
Freight volume was “unusually robust” for the season, exceeding December 2012 levels by 24 percent. It is the first time since the index began when freight availability increased from December to January. During the past 10 years, there has been an average 13 percent decline in freight levels between those two months.
On a month-to-month basis, the unusual trend affected the three major equipment types: flatbed freight jumped 28 percent, van loads increased 16 percent and refrigerated freight volume rose 14 percent. Compared with January 2012, freight volume rose 36 percent for vans, 32 percent for reefers and 7.9 percent for flatbeds.
Despite strong freight volumes, truckload capacity remained relatively loose on the spot markets.