Reefer Rates Surge in Produce Season

Reefer rates increased 1.6% in major markets in the week ending June 15. Rates from Los Angeles continue to climb in the height of produce season, surging 6.2% in the past seven days.

The top gaining reefer rates from Los Angeles include the lane to Atlanta, up $0.33 (19%) and to Chicago, up $0.31 (19%). The lane from Los Angeles to Seattle increased $0.25 (11%) and carriers can now take advantage of the backhaul rate which also rose $0.18 (21%). The size of these price increases indicates that produce is moving at peak seasonal levels from California. Elsewhere, another notable backhaul lane is Dallas to Memphis, which is up $0.21 (21%).

In contrast, reefer lanes from Philadelphia are down 2.2% and rates from Chicago declined 2.4% as the outbound lane from the Windy City to Columbus fell $0.22 (10%). Other decreasing rates were found in the lane from Memphis to Dallas, down $0.22 (10%), and from Dallas to Laredo which fell $0.40 (25%). The Dallas to Laredo decline may be due to the surge in freight we’re seeing out of Laredo. Carriers may be accepting a lower rate than normal so they can re-position their trucks in Laredo for a high-paying northbound haul.

As for other equipment types, flatbed rates dipped 2.2% in their first rate decline since January. Dry van rates fell 1% nationwide, but outbound rates from Los Angeles and Columbus increased 2.4% for the week and remain strong.

For detailed information on current spot market lane rates check out Truckload Rate Index. For weekly market trends, sign up for TransCore Trendlines.