Rate Trend of the Week: Reefers heat up, vans are flat, flatbeds decline

Rates rose 1.9% last week for reefers in the run-up to Thanksgiving, while van rates remained stable and flatbeds lost 0.7% as they continued their seasonal decline on the spot market. These figures are national averages from TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index, and they mask some strong regional trends. We discuss those in our Truckload Rate Trend of the Week on the TransCore Trendlines web site.

When you look at spot market freight volume, you see a 12% increase for reefers and a modest 1.6% uptick in demand for vans – but flatbeds lost their luster with an 8.3% slip in load availability.

Reefer rates and freight volume are expected to remain high through mid-December. The van segment is already declining, which is normal for this time of year. Holiday merchandise is already in the stores, and the big freight frenzy of the next four or five weeks will be in the parcel segment, not truckload. Flatbed capacity is still constrained, but demand is continuing on its downward slope in most markets.

Rates trended up for reefers and remained stable for vans while flatbed rates declined on the spot market during the month of November.