Trucking in 2013

Recently DAT released an article entitled “2013 in the Rear-View Mirror: Slow Growth Postpones Capacity Woes“, which gave a snapshot of some of the trucking industry numbers as well as summarizing some of the main factors that affected the industry in 2013.

Below are some of the main points from this article.  To read it in full please visit the DAT website at,

Freight Rates

  • The average truckload rate was down 0.4 percent on the spot market in 2013 – due to an 11 percent decline in the fuel surcharge
  • Line haul rates for vans and reefers rose 2 percent
  • Contract rate increased 1.3 percent

Trucking Capacity

  • Truck freight tonnage increased 5.6 percent in 2013 to-date
  • Freight availability increased 51 percent


  • Diesel fuel prices fell 11 percent to an average of $3.93 per gallon in 2013

New Regulations

  • Hours of Service (HOS) – took effect July 1, 2013 and added new constraints to fleet scheduling and dispatch
    • Reduced productivity by 3.3 percent
    • Added approximately 1.7 percent to freight rates
    • Yielded an average loss of 1.6 percent for trucking companies
  • California Air Resources Board (CARB) – pursued carriers, and brokers and shippers who hired them, for non-compliant transport refrigeration
  • MAP-21 – took effect October 1, 2013 and increased the required surety bond amount from $10,000 to $75,000 for freight brokers, and required freight forwarders as well as for-hire carriers who broker loads to carry the same bond or an equivalent trust
    • 38 percent of brokers had their authority revoked due to the MAP-21

Supply Chain

  • Intermodal grew 4.8 percent due to improvements in capacity, reliability and cost-effectiveness


  • Produce season started late due to rain and cold, but lasted longer resulting in an abundant summer and fall
  • Severe weather, such as tornadoes and floods, were an issue throughout the year but damages were localized and most were temporary


  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 2.1 percent (projected) in 2013
  • GDP is projected to grow by 2.8 percent in 2014

Driver Employment

  • For-hire trucking added 22,000 jobs in 2013 to-date, a 1.6 percent increase from 2012
  • Diver turnover was estimated at 90 percent in improvement from 2012 when turnover exceeded 100 percent
  • There’s a potential for a shortage in trained drivers if economic growth accelerates