The DAT North American Freight Index dropped to 1571 in May 2013, down 13.3 percent year-over-year, compared with an all-time high in May 2012, according to the latest release from DAT. This is the fourth straight month of declines.
The current spot market freight volume rose 5.6 percent from the month before. This is consistent with the normal trend of month-to-month increases during this time of the year. “Freight volume increased from April to May in eight of the past ten years, for an average increase of 6.3 percent,” DAT noted in its release. Volume for the first five months of 2013 was 3.3 percent lower than in the same period in 2012.
On a year-over-year basis, spot market freight volume fell 13 percent in May; flatbed freight fell 24 percent, pulling the overall volume down significantly. Vanload freight volume dropped 7 percent, but refrigerated trailer volume increased 3.6 percent year-over-year. When compared to April 2012, spot market rates rose for vans and reefer loads rose 3.9 percent and 12 percent, but flatbed rates declined 0.6 percent.
The U.S. average spot market line-haul rate for dry vans rose to $1.33 per mile, up 3 percent or 4 cents in May over the month before, and remained flat year-over-year. The load-to-truck ratio climbed three-tenths of a point or 14.3 percent from April to 2.4 available loads per truck, although it remained down 31 percent year-over-year.