Refrigerated Freight Adjusts Between Holidays

The national average for reefer rates remains extremely high at $2.43/mile, but declines on most of the high-traffic lanes indicate that some of the urgency that led to peak prices before Thanksgiving has gone away.

Capacity is still tight, though, and the need for pre-Christmas deliveries should keep reefer demand high for at least a couple more weeks or longer.

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


Many major reefer markets had lower outbound prices last week, but prices out of Nogales, AZ, ran counter to that trend, up 7% overall

  • For example, reefer rates on the lane from Nogales to Chicago were up 25¢ to an average of $2.24/mile
  • Outbound reefer rates were generally down out of Chicago, but the lane to Denver rose 32¢ at $3.20/mile
  • The backhaul lane from Denver to Ontario, CA, edged up 22¢ to $1.62/mile


Similar to vans, many reefer lanes came down from some unseasonable highs:

  • McAllen, TX, to Atlanta tumbled 80¢ to $1.98/mile
  • Demand for potato shipments fell after the holiday, and rates on the Twin Falls, ID, to Chicago lane came back down to earth at $2.17/mile
  • L.A. to Denver fell 39¢ to $3.03/mile
  • Sacramento to Portland, OR, dropped 41¢ to a still-high $3.23/mile average
  • The lane from Miami to Elizabeth, NJ, retreated from the off-season boost it got in the previous week, down 34¢ to $1.61/mile

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

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