Freight rates reached record heights at the end of June, only to skyrocket even higher during the July 4 holiday week. The national average rates set new records again for vans and reefers, even though load-to-truck ratios drifted back down to earth.
Hot van markets: Seattle rebounded with a 5 percent increase in rates; Chicago regained some traction, too, with a 3 percent bump; and high-traffic lanes out of Buffalo, N.Y., also got a 3 percent boost.
In fact, van freight moves from Chicago to Buffalo added 29 cents, to $3.22 per mile.
Not so hot: Most of the markets with declining rates had small changes. Los Angeles rates climbed down from crazy heights, but outbound rates are still very high. Denver outbound rates were even less attractive than usual, and the lane from Denver to Chicago slipped 9 cents to a paltry $1.34 per mile. The biggest rate drop among major markets was on the lane from Atlanta to Philadelphia, which lost 26 cents to $3.68 per mile.
Hot markets: There were strong increases on lanes out of the Upper Midwest. Reefer rates on the lane from Green Bay, Wis., to Minneapolis led the way, shooting up 68 cents to an average of $3.72 per mile. Several outbound Chicago lanes also paid higher prices, like the one to Philadelphia. There were also some late-season bumps in rates out of Central Florida, with Lakeland to Atlanta up 30 cents on average at $2.24 per mile.
Not so hot: Some lanes paid better out of Los Angeles, but otherwise California reefer rates were down last week. As you can see in the load-to-truck ratio map above, brokers and shippers had an easier time finding trucks there last week compared to much of the country. Prices on the Atlanta to Philadelphia lane also came tumbling back down to earth.