Flatbed and dry van rates continued to accelerate in Nov.; reefer relaxed

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A two-year look at spot market per-mile rates averages. (Data courtesy of Truckstop.com.)A two-year look at spot market per-mile rates averages. (Data courtesy of Truckstop.com.)

For the first time since April, per-mile rates for refrigerated loads slipped on a month-to-month basis, according to rates averages provided by load board operator Truckstop.com. That’s in contrast to continued gains for flatbed and dry van rates, and despite the grocery rush before Thanksgiving.

However, seasonally, reefer rates generally dip in November. This year, they fell 10 cents from October, to $2.74, in line with trends from 2018 (a 10-cent drop in November) and 2019 (a 3-cent drop). Reefer rates this November were up 32 cents from the same month last year, and the segment’s per mile average is up 52 cents a mile from the recent trough in April.

For flatbed loads, rates averaged $2.63 in November — a 2-cent increase from October. Flatbed rates in the month were up 30 cents from the same month last year, and they’re up 42 cents a mile from their most recent bottom in May.

Lastly, dry van rates averaged $2.62 per mile last month — the segment’s strongest average since July 2018’s $2.70/mile and dry van’s third strongest average over the past 10 years, second only to June and July of 2018.

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