Indicators: February freight reports mixed

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Updated Mar 16, 2016

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


Spot freight remained weak in February, DAT reports: Freight volume on the spot market fell 7.9 percent in February from January, according to loadboard DAT, who says the decline is in line with seasonal trends. The company expects March to reverse course.

Rates in all three major truckload segments — reefer, van and flatbed — stumbled as well, DAT’s report shows.

Van freight availability fell 21 percent in the month, according to DAT’s numbers, while reefer fell 27 percent and flatbed fell 26 percent. Freight availability compared to last February also saw a significant drop, down 37 percent, DAT says.


Freight shipments, expenditures climb in January, per Cass: The number of freight shipments in February jumped 8.3 percent from January, according the Cass Freight Index. Freight expenditures also rose, Cass reported, climbing 6.3 percent from January. “The strong growth in freight in February is the expected trend, but the recent four-month slide in freight traffic put the starting point for 2016 significantly lower than in the last several years.”

To that end, February’s freight shipments and expenditures were a few percentage points lower than the same month last year.

Unlike DAT’s numbers, Cass’ report includes rail shipments and expenditures as part of the index.