Reefer Rates Continue to Cool

February is usually the slowest month of the year for spot freight, and declines in reefer rates have been sharper than in the van segment. But then again, reefer rates also started from a much higher point, so they had further to fall.

There were a lot of dramatic shifts in load counts last week in the major markets for refrigerated freight, which led to some price swings.

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Volumes were up big in four very scattered markets. Outbound volume rose in Nogales, AZ, and Sacramento, but as you can see in the Hot States Map above, there’s no shortage of trucks in those areas. Potatoes are on the move again, boosting load counts out of Twin Falls, ID, and Green Bay, WI, although prices haven’t responded yet.

All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.


One lane out of Green Bay got a big increase, possibly due to snowstorms: Green Bay to Des Moines rates rose 42¢ to an average of $2.95/mile.

Most produce areas are either inactive or have falling prices, but avocado and citrus shipments helped boost rates on the lane from Ontario, CA, to Chicago, up 37¢ to $2.24/mile.


Reefer rates out of Florida had been unusually high for a while, but volumes have started to back down. As a result, rates fell on a couple of lanes out of Miami:

  • Miami to Baltimore lost 39¢ at $2.05/mile, which is still high for February
  • Miami to Boston dropped 32¢ to $2.53/mile

Apples and potatoes are still rolling out of storage in Grand Rapids, MI, but the market overall has slumped in recent weeks compare to the previous peaks:

  • Grand Rapids to Madison tumbled 72¢ to $2.80/mile
  • Grand Rapids to Philadelphia finally fell under the $4 mark: down 49¢ to $3.98/mile

Elsewhere, Green Bay to Minneapolis was down 39¢ to $2.56/mile, and the cross-country haul from Twin Falls to Baltimore paid 34¢ less on average at $2.48/mile

Find loads, trucks and lane-by-lane rate information in DAT load boards, including rates from DAT RateView.