Rate trend

Spot market volumes were down during the first week of April. That’s normal, since it comes right after the end of Q1, when shippers are rushing to move freight before closing their books. But we’ve also seen spot market rates strengthening in the past couple of weeks, and so far, that’s carried through into April. National average rates were up for each trailer type.

Load counts actually rose in Atlanta, though, and outbound rates were also up. We even saw rates increase on some major inbound lanes, which isn’t typical for this time of year. Van rates were also trending up out of Philadelphia and Los Angeles.


  • Memphis to Atlanta was up 13¢ at an average of $2.23/mile
  • The backhaul lane from Philadelphia to Charlotte added 15¢ to $1.46/mile, which could be a reaction to the conditions in Charlotte — more on that below


A mid-March freeze killed a lot of fruit in Georgia and the Carolinas, which has affected reefer load counts. That may have caused reefer trucks to spill over into van capacity out in Charlotte, with the extra competition driving down outbound van rates.

  • Chicago remains soft, and the lane to Buffalo fell 23¢ to $2.09
  • Houston to Oklahoma City cooled, falling 15¢ to $1.73/mile