Second quarter 2012 freight demand demonstrated typical seasonal trends and improved into June similar to second quarter 2011. Freight demand to date in July 2012 continues to show typical seasonal trends similar to July 2011. Freight demand trends are being helped both by supply side constraints limiting truckload capacity and demand generated by economic activity from our customers.
Average revenues per total mile, net of fuel surcharge, rose 2.6% in second quarter 2012 compared to second quarter 2011. Contractual rate increase percentage awards to date in 2012 are similar to the same period of 2011. Our truckload segment experienced a balanced freight market with respect to freight and trucks during second quarter 2012 with normal seasonal strengthening at the end of the quarter. Spot pricing was slightly higher in second quarter 2012 compared to second quarter 2011; however, the number of special freight projects with customers was lower for both our truck fleets and VAS Brokerage unit in second quarter 2012. Project freight is generally high volume but short duration and therefore commands a premium price. We continue to be successful in this tightening capacity environment by working jointly with our customers to secure sustainable transportation solutions across all modes and to offset increased rates through enhanced optimization and transportation solutions whenever possible.
In the last half of 2011, we operated slightly below our fleet goal of 7,300 trucks due to the challenging driver market, and we ended 2011 with 7,200 trucks. During the last week of first quarter 2012, we reached our goal of 7,300 trucks. Throughout second quarter 2012, we maintained our fleet at the 7,300 truck level or slightly higher. We intend to maintain our fleet size at approximately this level. Our primary objectives continue to be improving our operating margin percentage and our returns on assets, equity and invested capital, while staying true to our broad transportation services portfolio. Only through enhanced returns can we continue our commitment to reinvest in our fleet and our expanded portfolio of services.