Reefer Capacity Gets Tighter Ahead of Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so trucks are still in high demand to move refrigerated freight. Just like with dry van freight, reefer capacity tightened in the first week of November, meaning that shippers and brokers had a harder time finding trucks to move those reefer loads.

That pushed rates higher in many areas, especially out of Chicago and California. The overall picture was a bit more mixed than with van freight, though, where rates were up pretty much across the board. Of the top 72 reefer lanes, 39 had rising rates, while 33 lanes were down.

All rates below include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.


  • The biggest spike was the lane from Chicago to Kansas City, which surged 49¢ up to $3.10/mile
  • Chicago to Minneapolis also climbed 21¢ to $2.76/mile
  • Chicago to Denver soared 27¢ to $3.17/mile
  • Out West, the extra-long haul from Fresno to Boston rose 29¢ to $2.41/mile
  • Out of the border town of Nogales, AZ, reefer rates to Chicago climbed 32¢ to $2.05/mile


Demand is still extra-high out of potato-shipping regions ahead of Thanksgiving, but rates from Twin Falls, ID, to Phoenix dropped 27¢ to an average of $2.74/mile. In general, eastbound lanes out of Southern Idaho paid better last week than they did the week before.

  • The biggest drop-off last week was the lane from Grand Rapids to Cleveland, which plunged 54¢ to $3.16/mile
  • Denver to Houston also took a 42¢ dive at $1.87/mile

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

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