Flatbed and reefer linehaul rates have steadily moved upin May despite some much needed relief in diesel fuel prices. Van rates did notchange appreciably all month, until they rose 1.5% in the seven days (May25-31) that included Memorial Day. It's not unusual for shippers to acceleratefreight movements at the end of a month, and the holiday weekend exaggeratesthat trend. Plus, the 1.5% increase is spread across four business days insteadof five. When all things are considered, it's a pretty sizeable shift.
Los Angeles (LA) led with an overall increase of3.8%. Specific lanes driving theincrease were LA to Denver, up $0.23 (14%) and to Chicago, up $0.16 (19%). Also, two lanes from Atlanta moved sharplyhigher, to Philadelphia was up $0.23 (12%) and to Chicago up $0.14 (11%). Memphis to Columbus jumped the most at $0.29higher (21%), possibly reflecting a return to more normal business conditionsfollowing the flooding earlier in the month. Most others gains were nominal.