Flatbed rates rose 2.2% in the highest-volume markets last week, to kick off the construction season. Memphis was the leading market, followed by Atlanta. Jacksonville and Tampa got the nod for "most improved." On the down side, the Phoenix market lost traction with a 2.9% slip. Lanes from Phoenix to L.A. and El Paso led the downward trend. Best bets for flatbed rates: Atlanta to Houston at $2.85 per mile (up 28% week over week) and Houston to Oklahoma City at $2.49 (a 16% increase.)
Van rates were mostly stable to declining last week but there were some bright spots in the major markets.Rates rose in California -- particularly L.A. (up 2.6%) and Stockton (up 5.0%, on lower volume.) Stockton to Portland OR was an especially hot lane for van traffic, up 13% to $2.75 per mile.The only other market with average rate increases was Philadelphia, up 1.4%. The big losers for the week were Columbus (down 8.7%) and Memphis (down 6.3%.) The lane from Memphis to Columbus suffered with a 14% drop to $1.93, which is still well above the national average. Columbus to Philly lost 6.5%, but it's still paying $2.60. Philly to Chicago is the Worst Lane in America, yet again, at $1.05 per mile including fuel. (We are featuring a different lane this week, however, just to mix things up a bit. Maybe we should call it the "Second-Worst Lane in America.")
Reefer rates were up a penny (0.7%) as a national average last week. We'll provide more details on reefer rates in a couple of days, with a focus on the agricultural markets and lanes that are featured in the USDA Produce Report.