Spot freight availability doubled in December, TransCore says

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Updated Jan 29, 2010

Spot market freight availability on TransCore load boards in December rose by 103 percent year over year, to twice the level achieved in the same month of 2008. Freight volume also exceeded November levels by 11 percent on the North American spot market (United States and Canada), according to the TransCore Freight Index, a measure of truckload freight volume found on load boards supported by the DAT Network, including 3sixty Freight Match, and the company’s Canadian subsidiary service Link Logistics.

The positive year-over-year comparison results from an unusually strong month in spot market freight contrasted with the extreme weakness of December 2008, and marks 10 consecutive months of upward trends on TransCore load boards.

December’s ratio of 2.65 loads posted per available truck was 145 percent higher than the load-to-truck ratio for December 2008. This strong increase is largely due to the combination of improving load volumes and prior-year excess truck capacity that caused carriers to post available trucks more aggressively than seasonal norms.

Although December is typically one of the weaker months for spot freight, it emerged as the strongest month in 2009, surpassing even June and September.

TransCore says brokers, 3PLs, carriers and owner-operators in North America list more than 50 million loads and trucks per year across a variety of services feeding its DAT Network, and as a result of this high volume, the company’s Freight Index is representative of the ups and downs in U.S. spot market freight availability.