National average rates held steady for vans and reefers last week. Spot market loads on DAT Load Boards edged down 2 percent overall in volume, but demand increased for reefers, especially in the Southeast.
Miami and Atlanta are now the top two markets for reefer loads, as produce season hits its stride in the Southeast. Rates are improving out of Florida, with sharp increases on key lanes out of Miami and Lakeland into the Northeast. California is also back on the map, with positive trends in volume and rates out of Los Angeles, Ontario and Sacramento. The Hot States map shows high load-to-truck ratios in Idaho, Arizona, and Arkansas, due to steady outbound volume and a relative shortage of reefer trucks in the major markets of those states.
As noted, Miami and Atlanta are performing fairly well for reefers, depending on the destination. Furthermore, the run to Miami from Atlanta itself is paying an average of $2.24 per mile. The averages back out of Miami to Atlanta, however, tell a different story. The return trip averaged just $1.41 last week on DAT Load Boards.
Triangulating the run can pay off if timing allows. There are many possibilities. Charlotte offers the biggest selection of loads back to Atlanta, boosting your average rate by 31 cents per mile on the trip. You’ll also add 320 miles, for almost $1,100 more for the three days.
Van rates fell on the highest-volume lanes last week, but only by an average of $3.00 per load. Hot Markets are Phoenix; New Orleans and Shreveport, La.; and Birmingham and Decatur, Ala. Rates are trending up in Houston, Los Angeles and Allentown, Pa. Arkansas shows up as a Hot State in the map due to a shortage of trucks, but there aren’t a lot of loads available. The bad news: Load volume and rates dropped in Stockton, Calif. Memphis was also down last week, which is disappointing after a stretch of solid load volume.