The DAT North American Freight Index slipped 9.5 percent year-over-year in June 2013, down to 1606, according to the latest release from DAT. This is the fifth straight month of declines.
Despite the year-over-year slump, the current spot market freight volume rose 2.2 percent from the month before. This was the highest index level since the previous June, when it stood at 1775. Volume for the first half of 2013 was 4.5 percent lower than in the same period in 2012.
“There are indications that the peak freight season will extend into July. Freight volume typically peaks in June on the spot market. The extended season is due to [a] combination of weather-related delays in housing starts, particularly in the upper Midwest, that postponed flatbed activity, as well as a robust produce season that is adding strength in central California and other agricultural areas in the West and Midwest,” DAT noted in its release.
On a year-over-year basis, spot market freight volume fell 9.5 percent in June; flatbed freight slid 6.8 percent and vanload freight volume dropped 9.5 percent, but refrigerated trailer volume increased 3.9 percent year-over-year. When compared to May 2013, spot market rates rose for vans by 4.5 percent, inched up for flatbed loads by 0.6 percent, and reefer rates climbed 6 percent.
The U.S. average spot market line-haul rate for dry vans rose to $1.40 per mile, up 3.7 percent or 5 cents in June over the month before, and remained flat year-over-year. This was the fourth straight monthly increase. The load-to-truck ratio climbed six-tenths of a point or 25.8 percent from May to 3 available loads per truck, although it remained down 19 percent year-over-year.