Looking for a Reefer Load? Try These 5 Markets

The national reefer rate average lost 5¢ last week, but there are still pockets in the country where reefer demand remains high. Below are five markets where you can find a reefer load fast and make a nice profit. Each is in the top 20 for load posts and has load-to-truck ratios well above the national average of 3.9 loads available per truck.

All rates derived from DAT RateView™, which are also available in DAT load boards.

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Photo by Wikimedia Commons author Riction

The recent bad weather in the Carolinas affected load posts in that region last week, but Charlotte has been number 1 in load posts for the past month. It’s also in the top 5 for inbound loads. In the chart above, you’ll see that Lakeland is the top destination for loads posted in Charlotte, but Lakeland, FL, is no place for outbound reefers right now. You might want to look to Atlanta, Memphis, Philly, or Elizabeth, NJ, for a more profitable roundtrip.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Fall harvests continue to create high reefer demand in Grand Rapids, MI. Rates have slipped considerably on the highest-volume lane to Columbus, but the average is still $3.04 per mile. The backhaul is also strong at an average of $2.77 per mile, which yields an average roundtrip rate of $2.90 per mile. Load volumes and rates are still high in Chicago as well, but Chicago isn’t hurting for trucks.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons author Daniel Schwen

Albuquerque, NM, has been lighting up the Hot Market Map for a few weeks now. That region of New Mexico produces potatoes, onions, and beef that are shipped all over the country, leading to high volume on the load board. A shortage of trucks in the area makes it even easier to find loads for reefers and vans. So if you take a load to Albuquerque from L.A. (which averages $2.69/mile), you should be able to find a backhaul without deadheading.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons author Michael Whiffen

Southern Idaho is coming down from its fall harvest peak, but there’s still a high number of loads to be found in the Twin Falls, ID, area. Expect potatoes to roll out of storage and processing facilities as we get closer to the holiday season.

Photo by Wikimedia Commons author Anonymous Cow

Reefers are in high demand in the Texas panhandle as well. Amarillo, TX, is a major beef-producing market, and most outbound loads there are heading to Oklahoma or elsewhere in Texas.