What is it?
A national (US) spot rate index based on an average of booked spot dry van loads from 250,000 lanes and 10,000 daily spot market transactions. These transactions originate from FreightWaves Trusted Rate Assessment Consortium (TRAC) and are reported daily. The values are inclusive of fuel and exclude loads moving less than 250 miles. All contributors held to standardized reporting procedures and the data will be audited. It is offered in four forms:
NTI.USA – A 7-day moving average
NTID.USA – A daily average
NTIB.USA – A daily business day average (excludes the volatile weekend submissions)
NTIL.USA – Linehaul only (excludes fuel)
Who is interested?
Anyone that has an interest in trucking market activity in the US.
What does it tell me?
Truckload spot rates are one of the first places that display supply and demand imbalance in trucking transportation. The trucking industry is typically one of the first places to notice broader changes in the US economy. When demand for goods increases rapidly, spot rates follow suit and conversely when demand eases, spot rates fall. Dry van is used because it represents the majority (~70%) of the truckload movements in the US and is pervasive throughout every market.
Spot rates also show seasonal trends over the course of a year. The magnitude of the movement of the NTI can be indicative of broader economic changes. Slower changes to the longer running trends are more indicative of supply side conditions whereas demand shifts tend to move the index sharply.