California Reefer Freight Starts to Heat Up

Reefer rates rose 10¢ per mile in June, compared to May, landing at $2.12, the highest monthly average in almost two years. Load availability was up 30% compared to May, and 84% compared to June 2015.

HOT MARKETS: The biggest changes last week were in California, where reefer freight finally started to move out of Fresno and Sacramento in serious quantities, but load counts fell sharply in L.A. and Ontario. Other markets to hit a lull last week included Miami, Southern Idaho, and Grand Rapids. Across the country, 47 of the top 72 reefer lanes had higher rates compared to the previous week. Some of those increases were due to the urgent need to deliver fresh fruit and vegetables to grocery aisles before July 4th.

RISING LANES: The biggest rate increases were all over the map. Literally.

  • Sacramento to Portland, OR rates soared 31¢ to $2.77 per mile
  • Central Florida got a late-season boost, with rates from Lakeland to Charlotte up 47¢ to $2.29 per mile
  • Atlanta to Dallas is typically a more stable lane, but rates there rose 38¢ to $2.36 per mile

FALLING LANES: Dallas is still strong, but rates tumbled on a couple of outbound lanes

  • The regional trip from Dallas to Houston fell 22¢ to $2.53 per mile.
  • The longhaul trip from Dallas to Columbus was down 21¢ to $2.29 per mile
  • While Sacramento to Portland was up, Los Angeles to Portland rates fell 31¢ to $2.77/mile
  • Reefer loads from the Northern New Jersey port of Elizabeth to Boston paid 29¢ less at $3.14 per mile

Find loads, trucks and lane-by-lane rate information in the DAT Power load board, including rates from DAT RateView.



Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.



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