The spring freight season thus far has present a “kind of a two steps forward, one-step back week-to-week” situation, notes DAT’s Ken Harper. After volume and rate gains across van, reefer and flat segments the prior week, this past week has seen van loads flat for volume. “But more trucks were posted on the DAT load board,” Harper adds, “and the result was a give-back of 4 cents in rates compared to last week, when van rates rose 7 cents.”
Load volume dropped sharply out of Miami last week, and rates followed. The rate to Miami out of Atlanta is decent, but the return is a killer, at just $1.54 on average last week. Opportunities to cut the return in two are plentiful, but could add an extra day to the round-trip. The graphic below details the 250 miles that would be added with a load to Charleston from Miami, and from there to Atlanta, based on rate averages last week.
Reefer freight is starting the seasonal/regional move from southeast to southwest, since Florida’s harvest season ended a little early this year. For reefers on the West Coast, there’s a great roundtrip opportunity between L.A. and Phoenix. The average rate is $2.11 per mile, and there is lots of freight in both directions. Doing the round twice back to back, over three days, could make the best use of your time.