Thanksgiving rush results in record-high reefer volumes

The holiday rush is underway. Refrigerated freight volumes hit a new weekly record, surpassing even 2017's record-setting volumes. Reefer rates jumped more than 3% last week and have climbed more than 6% from the prior month.

On the top 72 reefer lanes last week, rates increased in 52 of those lanes. Top performing markets include those shipping produce and other goods for the upcoming holiday, such as Miami, Twin Falls, Sacramento, and Green Bay. The national average reefer rate is now $2.16 per mile, which is 5¢ 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

Rates were up in almost every major reefer market. The largest rate increases came from Twin Falls, ID, Fresno, CA, Los Angeles, Denver, and Nogales, AZ. Freight volumes were up more than 40% in Miami, and more than 20% in Sacramento. Rising lanes included:

  • Twin Falls, ID to Phoenix spiked 36¢ to $2.91/mi.
  • Los Angeles to Denver shot up 32¢ to $3.00/mi.
  • Miami to Baltimore added 29¢ to $2.35/mi.

Falling markets and lanes

Rate declines were few:

  • Grand Rapids, MI to Philadelphia slipped 19¢ from its peak to $3.12/mi.
  • Elizabeth, NJ to Lakeland, FL moved down 10¢ to $1.99/mi. due to stronger northbound rates from Florida
  • Grand Rapids to Cleveland dipped 10¢ to $3.87/mi.


RELATED: Pre-holiday rush pushes van rates higher

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Mark Montague

Mark Montague recently retired as DAT's Industry Pricing Analyst. Mark worked for DAT for more than a decade and was instrumental in developing the spot market rates database and analysis tools in DAT RateView. Prior to joining DAT, Mark applied his expertise in logistics, rates and routing as a logistics manager and analyst for carriers, 3PLs and shippers. Mark holds an MBA in Transportation Management from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.

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