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Roadcheck is over, but some van rates keep climbing

Summer freight is on its way, just as spring has finally sprung -- and it’s not all about Roadcheck.  The annual Roadcheck inspection blitz kicked off the month by tightening capacity for much of the first week in June. The lane rates that rose sharply during that week dropped back down again after the inspections ended, but van load volumes and rates continue to climb in the Southeast and along the West Coast.  The end… Read More

California and Texas driving reefer demand

Just as we saw with van freight, reefer rates and load-to-truck ratios cooled down last week after rising sharply the previous week due to the International Roadcheck inspection blitz. On the other hand, reefer freight volumes were up 20% compared to the previous week. Produce season is on, and we saw big volume increases coming out of both California and Texas. Although the national reefer load-to-truck ratio was down 30% last week… Read More

June freight could set the tone for rest of year

It's no secret that truckload rates aren't where they were a year ago. We don't expect prices to reach the same levels we saw in 2019, but we've been predicting a second quarter rebound for quite some time now -- really since last December, when we also said that we expected a softer than usual first quarter. A number of factors delayed that rebound, but there are signs emerging that it's finally here. The first delay was the scope of… Read More

Van rates finally get a boost

For many motor carriers, June couldn't get here fast enough. This is typically the busiest time of the year for spot freight, and it brings in some of the highest rates of the year for trucking companies. Last week, prices increased on 90 of the top 100 van lanes, and on DAT load boards, there were more load posts than any other single week since last September. Of course, much of last week's jump in rates and load-to-truck ratios… Read More

Reefer rates growing as produce season arrives

What do you get when you combine produce season with International Roadcheck week? You guessed it: a jump in both rates and load-to-truck ratios. As we saw with van freight, reefers got a big bump last week. Many drivers stayed home rather than face inspections,… Read More

Freight Forecast: Is the worst yet to come?

It’s natural to prefer predictability over surprise in many parts of your life, but as the axiom says, “change is inevitable.” That is especially true in the factors affecting the transportation industry, whether it’s the daily truckload rate from St. Louis to Chicago or the global supply and demand for oil or the interest rates for U.S. dollar-denominated debt. Last year was a year of extraordinary change. The… Read More

May ends quietly for reefers, but peak season awaits

Although van freight got a nice boost last week because of the shortened Memorial Day week, the news was a little less exciting for reefer carriers. Refrigerated food and beverages were already delivered in advance of the long weekend, and the month-end close is a big deal for vans, but not for reefers, at least not on the spot market. Scheduled… Read More

Flatbed report: Far cry from 2018, but bright spots remain

What a difference a year makes. Last year at the end of May there were about 90 flatbed load posts for every truck post, and the national average flatbed rate was $2.72 per mile. Last week we ended May with a load-to-truck ratio of 13 loads per truck and a national… Read More

Van rates finally pick up steam

Carriers have been waiting for good news for awhile now, and spot market rates finally started picking up steam last week. The Memorial Day holiday made for a shortened work week, which made for a tighter window for moving shipments before the end of the month. That pushed load-to-truck ratios higher, meaning shippers and brokers had a harder time finding available trucks. That helped push rates higher on 73 of the top 100 lanes.… Read More

Freight Forecast: More boom less gloom

Are we really on the brink of a freight recession? I've seen countless gloom-and-doom forecasts and analyses from some very smart people, but I'm not buying it. I look at the data, and I see a continuing pattern of growth in freight volumes, both in the spot market and in the U.S. truckload segment overall.… Read More