Indicators: Trucking conditions improve, expected to remain stable; freight dipped again in Jan.

Updated Feb 22, 2016

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

DAT Solutions Index

Spot market activity for January dips in line with seasonal trends: Freight volume on the spot market fell 9.1 percent in January from December, according to the monthly DAT Freight Index, in line with seasonal trends seen in the last 20 years, DAT says.

However, January’s freight available was down 35 percent from last January, continuing another more short-term trend of year-over-year declines. Every month of the last 13 have seen a year-over-year drop in freight availability, DAT reports, blaming January’s drop on “tepid freight growth and abundant capacity.”

Linehaul rates in January also fell, DAT says, both month to month and year-over-year.   


Trucking conditions improve, expected to remain stable: Market conditions for trucking companies improved in December and are expected to remain in positive territory throughout 2016, according to FTR’s monthly Trucking Conditions Index.

FTR says expect “tight but adequate” capacity in 2016. The firm does cite two events that could cause capacity to tighten and a subsequent rate increase in the year, however: (1) Regulators reinstating more restrictive hours-of-service rules seen before 2014’s “restart rollback” and (2) greater-than-anticipated effects of weather events.