CCJ Indicators: July reports — tonnage jumps, spot market freight sinks, linehaul rates soar

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Updated Aug 23, 2015

CCJ Indicators rounds up the latest reports on trucking business indicators on rates, freight, equipment, the economy and more.

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08 18 15 -- Tonnage Graphic for Highroad

ATA reports tonnage boost in July: The amount of freight carried by the for-hire trucking industry in July, as measured by ATA’s monthly For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, climbed 2.8 percent in July, pushing the index to its second-highest reading on record.

Tonnage was up 3.7 percent from last July, ATA reported, and up 3.4 percent year-to-date compared to the same time period last year. “After several soft months starting in February, tonnage really snapped back in July,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello. “July was the single best monthly gain since November 2013.”

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dat july 15

Spot market freight, rates down: In line with seasonal trends, freight volume on the spot market fell in July, as did rates, according to DAT’s monthly Freight Index. Compared to June, freight volume was down 27 percent overall, and compared to last July, freight was down 40 percent, DAT reported. Last July, however, was a record-setting month.

Van freight levels fell 24 percent, reefer dropped 23 percent and flatbed tumbled 33 percent. Rates, accordingly, fell. Van rates sunk 1.9 percent, flatbed 2.1 percent and reefer 4.2 percent.

The measure of both volume and rates combine to produce DAT’s monthly index, shown above.

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cass july index

Linehaul rates continue upward momentum: The linehaul portion of truckload rates — rates’ base, essentially — continued to climb in July, according to the monthly Cass Truckload Linehaul Index. Truckload linehaul rates were 3.6 percent higher in July than the same month last year and 11 percent higher than the same month in 2013.