Spot market freight volumes rose by 0.5 percent in July when compared to the previous month, reversing a long-time trend of freight falloff from June to July, according to the DAT North American Freight Index.
Freight rates haven’t risen from June to July since 1996; the June-to-July decline has averaged 20 percent over the past decade. DAT sees delayed housing starts due to weather issues, which increased demand for flatbeds, and a robust July harvest, which led to reefer growth, as reasons for the overall increase.
As more capacity frees up in July, spot market rates have historically declined, but this year, rates for flatbeds rose by 1.2 percent, month-to-month. Flatbed rates were still down 6.7 percent when compared to the same period last year, however. The seasonal declines stayed true for reefers, which dropped by 3.4 percent month-to-month, and vans, which saw a 0.7-percent decrease. Compared to July 2012, van rates saw a 2.1-percent decline, and reefer rates showed a 1.2-percent increase. - Jon Ross