Reefer demand spikes ahead of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, and there's an urgency to get fresh and frozen goods to supermarkets before the big day. Last week we saw the highest reefer volumes in the past three months, and the reefer load-to-truck ratio jumped 27%.

Rates are on the rise too. Last week on the top 72 reefer lanes, 48 had rising prices. The national average reefer rate is now $2.14 per mile, which is 2¢ higher than the October average.   

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Hot Market Maps, available in the DAT Power load board and DAT RateView, show load-to-truck ratios in 135 freight markets in the U.S.

Rising markets and lanes

Reefer volumes increased in Atlanta, a hub for warehousing, and Miami, where imports arrive by sea. Volumes were also up in Fresno, CA, and Nogales, AZ — although rates only increased in one of the major lanes out of Nogales:

  • Nogales, AZ to New York City shot up 24¢ to $2.18/mi.
  • Lakeland, FL to Charlotte, NC increased 21¢ to $1.83/mi.
  • Twin Falls, ID to Los Angeles gained 19¢ to $2.35/mi.
  • Atlanta to Philadelphia added 18¢ to $2.26/mi.

Falling markets and lanes

Not many lane rates declined, and most of the changes were slight. There were a few notable exceptions:

  • Philadelphia to Miami dropped 21¢ to $1.94/mi.
  • Nogales, AZ to Los Angeles moved down 10¢ to $1.70/mi.
  • Ontario, CA to Seattle declined 8¢ to $2.23/mi.


RELATED: Van volumes rise as Black Friday approaches

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Pat Pitz

Pat Pitz is the editor of the DAT Solutions freight broker newsletter. He has nearly 20 years experience as a professional writer and editor. Before joining DAT, he spent 8 years at a Portland advertising and public relations agency, where he wrote newsletters and other content for a variety of high-profile clients, including several in the trucking industry.