Rate Trend of the Week: Rates Decline Seasonally in Mid-January

Rates for all equipment types dipped as recorded on Truckload Rate Index, in major markets, inthe seven days ending January 18. Let’s drill down and find out what happened:


Van rates from major markets all declined in the past weekbut nationally, rates have increased. Typically, these major markets supportnational trends. I imagine this means that there’s been an increase high payingshorthaul lanes that are not part of my major market report. While all majormarkets declined, Chicago only declined 0.6% and recorded the lowest decline. Carriercan benefit from an increase in rates from Charlotte to Atlanta and Atlanta toPhiladelphia. There may be an opportunity to create a triangle, or trihaul,route (for more information on trihauls and download our how-to guide, visit Bestand Worst Lanes in America). Van carriers aren’t going to find much love in LosAngeles, rates dipped 5.2% after freight volumes softened in the past week.


Flatbed rates declined 2.3% in the past week. I anticipatedthis mid-January seasonal decline, after week of increasing rates. Whileweather is impacting some of these declines, softer freight volumes are alsoresponsible. Rates from Dallas increased in the past week as the lane fromDallas to New Orleans rose 9%. This is the fourth consecutive week over weekincrease for this market. Like vans, Los Angeles recorded the largest declinefor flatbeds. Flatbed carriers can avoid the intrastate lane from Stockton toLos Angeles which declined 20% to $1.76/mile all in, over the past seven days. Rememberthat this is just a seasonal dip in rates, I expect we’ll see them bounce backover the next few weeks.


Reefer rates, down 4.4%, recorded the largest week-over-weekdecline. Unlike van rates, the decline in reefer rates matches national trends.Carries will probably have the best luck with rates and freight out of Philadelphiaor Dallas. These markets recorded the smallest rate decline and have the mostpromising freight volumes. Albuquerque is also a market to keep an eye out for.The load to truck ratio is hot right now and the lane from Albuquerque toDallas was paying pretty well a few days ago. It looks like the word got outabout Dallas, from last week’s post. I noticed that inbound rates declinedafter a surge of carriers moved to this market. The lane from Chicago andAtlanta fell 19% and the lane from Los Angeles dipped 17%.

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 themarket.