fer Demand Dips, But Not Rates

Although load-to-truck ratios for reefers dipped last week, rates held steady, remaining at their highest point in nearly two years.

We saw a surge in load-to-truck ratios and prices the week before last as truckers waited out the annual Roadcheck inspection blitz. But even though load-to-truck ratios dropped, prices stayed put at $2.11 per mile. The last time national average reefer rates were that high was in August 2015.

Load-to-truck ratios are highest for reefers in the darker blue areas on the Hot States Map above.

Surprisingly, on the top 72 reefer lanes, only 27 had higher rates last week. Fresno volumes were down, and those load counts were needed to offset the lower number of reefer loads moving out of the Ontario market in Southern California and across the border in Southern Arizona. Still, DAT analysts recently looked at USDA data and found that, of California’s top 10 vegetables, May vegetable shipments were the strongest they’ve been since 2013.

All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.


  • Denver has the lowest average outbound reefer rate in the country, and the theme for last week was higher inbound rates
  • L.A. to Denver rose 37¢ to $3.23/mile
  • Dallas to Denver was up 24¢ to $2.67/mile
  • Chicago to Denver paid 19¢ better at $2.20/mile

Rates out of Florida continued to slide, but on the flip side, reefer rates were up big from Atlanta heading into Florida. Dallas reefer rates continued to surge, with beef and other meat products on the move. Between Dallas and Atlanta, reefer rates were up 13¢ in both directions, averaging $2.00/mile both there and back.

One big outlier: Even though other outbound rates from Miami are sliding down into the off-season, the average reefer rate from Miami to Boston was up 20¢ to $2.10/mile.


Other Florida reefer prices tumbled

  • The biggest drop was on the lane from Lakeland to Charlotte, which plunged 84¢ to an average of $1.82/mile
  • Miami to Baltimore was down 33¢ to $2.28/mile

Cross-border volumes continue to be soft down in Nogales, AZ, and the lane from there to Los Angeles lost 20¢ to $2.07/mile.

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