Even though August was a relatively strong month for spot market volumes, shippers were moving more freight on rail and through contract carriers last month than they had in previous months. That contributed to the lower spot rates overall in August, a normal trend for this time of year.
Hot van markets: The Pacific Northwest moved counter to the national trend in August, and van rates out of Seattle jumped up 5 percent last week. Pricing out of Chicago and Columbus, Ohio, has also largely remained stable during the late-summer slowdown.
Not so hot: The extra competition from intermodal dragged rates down out of Los Angeles. The lane to Chicago fell 14 cents to an average of $1.71 per mile. That’s something of a typical rate for that lane, but it should go up in the fall shipping season.
Hot markets: Nuts, onions and potatoes are also contributing to high load-to-truck ratios in Pendleton, Ore., and Spokane, Wash. Outbound reefer rates in Chicago have also risen 12 percent in the past month.
Not so hot: Capacity was loose in the southern half of the country. As a result, reefer rates fell 11 percent out of Miami and Nogales, Ariz., last month. The next biggest decline was out of Dallas, where prices were down 7 percent.