Reefers Gain Momentum, Especially in Georgia

Georgia beat out Texas to become the number-one state for reefer loads last week, with California as a distant third.

Atlanta was a super-hot market for reefers as well as vans, thanks to all the seasonal produce leaving refrigerated warehouses and food processing plants. A lot of that produce originates in the Tifton and Macon markets in Southern Georgia, and is distributed out of Atlanta. The biggest gain came on the lane from Atlanta to Chicago, where rates rose 39¢ per mile to a total of $2.15.

(OTHER) HOT MARKETS - Outbound volume and rates picked up in Fresno, which may signal a belated improvement in Central California's produce yields. Chicago and Philadelphia also got a boost last week. The surprise was a spike in off-season volume out of Miami, which may be partly due to imports arriving by sea from South America.

A handful of individual lanes saw big rate increases:

  • Sacramento to Denver added 30¢ per mile, to $2.49
  • Dallas to Columbus got a 37¢ boost, to $2.50
  • Elizabeth, NJ to Boston added a whopping 43¢, to beat the $4.00 mark, at $4.03 per mile

NOT SO HOT - Outbound rates lost traction from two markets near the Mexican border. McAllen, TX rates dropped an average of 11¢ per mile, and Nogales, AZ rates fell 16¢.

  • McAllen to Atlanta tumbled 26¢ to $1.96 per mile, partly due to the increased volume out of Atlanta
  • Nogales to Dallas fell 30¢ to $2.36 per mile
  • Los Angeles to Denver lost 40¢ off the previous week's spike, down to $2.82
  • Dallas to Denver rates also fell, dropping 18¢ to $2.48 per mile

TEXAS TRIHAUL – Georgia may be great for reefers, but Texas truckers also have lots of choices this week. You can expect good rates going into the major metro areas right now, because supermarket chains will want to stock up on perishable produce in time for July 4th weekend.

If you want to be out for a few days, head from Dallas to McAllen, on the Mexican border. That lane pays $1.90 per mile, which seems low, but you’ll have no trouble finding a load back. Don’t go straight back to Dallas, though. Find a second load from McAllen to Houston instead, for about $3.00 per mile, and then pick up a third load from Houston to Dallas, at $3.05. You’ll come away with more than $2,800 for the TriHaul, compared to about $2,300 for a straight roundtrip.

TEXAS TWO-STOP – If you’re leaving Dallas in a reefer, and you don’t have time for a TriHaul, find a load from Dallas to Houston and then pick up another load heading back from Houston to Dallas. You can make over $1,400 on that 500-mile roundtrip. If you have enough hours left before your next reset, you can run the same roundtrip again the next day!

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

Categories: Rate Trend of the Week

Peggy Dorf

Peggy joined DAT in 2008 as a writer and market analyst. She was instrumental in developing DAT Trendlines, and she writes extensively about the impact of economic trends on companies and individuals in transportation and logistics. Peggy is a Certified Transportation Broker with decades of experience in technology marketing and an MBA from the Wharton School.



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