Spot market truck traffic increased 3 percent in July from June, the first sequential monthly increase in July since 1996, according to load-matching service DAT.
Loads for the month were up 3 percent from June on DAT’s load boards, compared with a 20 percent average decline from June to July over the past 10 years.
Spot market truck demand roared back after the Fourth of July holiday, according to DAK, with load volumes rebounding 10 percent in the week of July 7-13.
Load volumes rose 2.7 percent and 10 percent in the next two weeks, before dropping 6.1 percent in the last week of July, according to DAT Trendlines.
The unusually strong level of spot market demand in July follows two months of overall truck tonnage growth, as reported by the American Trucking Associations.
ATA’s For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index was up 6.5 percent year-over-year in May and 5.9 percent in June. For the first six months, the index was up 4.7 percent.
“Heavy freight, like autos and energy production, is growing faster than lighter freight, which is pushing truck tonnage up,” ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello said.
Demand for flatbeds increased during July, possibly a sign of increased construction demand. Spot market rates for dry vans dropped on average, but flatbed rates rose.