Normally there’s something of a freight lull after the end of the first quarter, as that urgency to get freight pushed out the door before month’s end falls off. The drop in demand typically leads to lower rates for truckers in early April, but that wasn’t the case for the week ending April 7. National average spot rates jumped up compared to the March averages.
Van: $2.24/mile, up 9 cents compared to March
Reefer: $2.48/mile, up 9 cents
Flatbed: $2.63/mile, up 10 cents
Van hot markets: Rates from Los Angeles and Stockton, Calif., were up 2.6 percent and 2.5 percent respectively, with stronger shipper demand out of Stockton. Columbus, Ohio, was up 3.1 percent, and even perennial dead zone Denver had a solid 2.5 percent increase in outbound rates. Houston was up 1.8 percent but has gained more than 9 percent over the past four weeks.
Not so hot: Rates edged down again out of Chicago on lower volumes, but the decline was just 1.3 percent.
Hot reefer markets: Out of California: Fresno outbound pricing jumped 4.4 percent on higher volumes, and Los Angeles rates rose 3.9 percent. Ontario prices climbed 2.3 percent on average, but volumes out of the Imperial Valley were once again lower last week.
Dallas volumes were weaker, but the average outbound rate increased 4.9 percent. Several outbound Dallas lanes posted solid gains:
- To Houston, up 8¢ to $3.15/mile
- To Phoenix, up 22¢ to $2.28/mile
- Columbus, Ohio, up 13¢ to $3.15/mile
Not so hot: That lull after Easter? It was in force in Philadelphia, despite the fact that the rest of the state is dark in the map above, indicating high load-to-truck ratios and typically high demand. Without the run-up to the holiday weekend, the volume of outbound reefer loads dropped and the average rate was down 2 percent.