Recovering foodservice industry may offset low farm produce reefer volumes

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There’s an acceleration in the United States’ foodservice industry, according to the latest release of the Technomics index (TIndex). The TIndex jumped from 94 in May to 102 in June, and it’s now up 28% from this time last year.

It’ll be interesting to see if this acceleration continues into the next few months for reefer carriers specializing in the food service sector. It may even offset some of the lower volumes of farm produce being reported by the USDA. The most recent report from the USDA shows truckload volumes of domestic produce are down 14% year-over-year.

Find loads and trucks on the largest load board network in North America.

Note: All rates exclude fuel unless otherwise noted.

As container imports continue to surge on the West Coast, truckload capacity remains tight on most lanes.

For example, the Los Angeles to Portland lane saw spot rates increase $0.12/mile last week. The average of $4.36/mile spot rate is a 12-month high on this lane. The increase is helping offset the drop in southbound reefer rates on this lane, which have decreased to $1.40/mile from the highs of last December. Round-trip carriers on this lane average $2.88/mile, which is $0.12/mile above the national average reefer rate.

On the 270-mile run from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, reefer spot rates cooled last week. This lane decreased by $0.48/mile from the record high of $5.79/mile set in July.

Spot rates

After decreasing for the three weeks prior, reefer spot rates increased by $0.03/mile last week to an average of $2.76/mile. Spot rates are still $0.65/mile higher than this time last year.


How to interpret the rate forecast:

  1. Ratecast: DAT’s core forecasting model
  2. Short Term Scenario: Formerly the pessimistic model that focuses on a more near-term historical dataset
  3. Blended Scenario: More heavily weighted towards the longer-term models
  4. Blended Scenario v2: More heavily weighted towards the shorter-term models

> Learn more about rate forecasts from DAT iQ

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