Rate Trend of the Week: Flatbed and Reefer Rates Pick Up

Van rates remained stable while both flatbed and reeferrates rose 1.9% in the seven days ending January 4.


Post-holiday van rates didn’t record much overallchange. The Stockton market gained some speed and recovered a 4.6% uptickin rates, as recorded on Truckload Rate Index. In smaller markets, Denver increased on stronger rates to Dallas andLos Angeles. Overall, backhaul markets showed some rate recovery this weekwhile major Midwest and Southeastern markets moved lower. In past weeks, whenbackhaul lanes have climbed it indicates that falling rates may be around thecorner. We’ll see next week if this trend applies to the changes we’ve seen this pastweek.


Flatbed rates advanced 1.9% overall as every major market movedhigher except for Philadelphia. Cold weather arriving in January may have put achill on the flatbed business in the Northeast. While Atlanta, up 3.2%,recorded the largest increase week over week, the top gaining lanes were scatteredacross the country: Chicago to Columbus, Stockton to Los Angeles, and Denver toLA all rose in the past week. Los Angeles is still a weaker outbound market butnot nearly as bad as Philadelphia. Rates were down 3.2% in the past week aslanes from Philly to Atlanta, Charlotte and Boston all recorded a dip in rates.


I noticed some reefer action in south Texas and Florida inthe past week. Reefer drivers in either of these regions can benefit from strong rates, for the time being (I know the rise in rates when getting out ofsouthern Florida is sometimes “a sight for sore eyes”). In other good news, bothdirections between Los Angeles and Denver increased by $0.29 amile. The lane from Denver to LA continues to increase while the return routerebounded from the past week. Rates from Philadelphia continue to slide, down4.7%, in the past week as the lane to Boston fell.

For more information, visit the Rate Trend of the Week page in Trendlines. And feel free to comment with your thoughts or what you’re experiencing in the market.