TransCore: Holiday Rush for Refrigerated Food Products Sees Reefer Rates Rise

As refrigerated food products were rushed to market prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, spot market freight availability for refrigerated vans (“reefers”) climbed 12 percent. Reefer rates rose 1.9 percent nationwide for the seven days ending November 23 according to TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index. Reefer rates and freight volume are expected to remain high through mid-December.

Thanksgiving week was a mixed bag for other equipment types, however. Van freight volume increased 1.6 percent, but rates slipped 0.2 percent nationwide on the spot market compared to the previous week. In a week where van rates for major markets were flat to down, Memphis proved to be the exception, with a 2.5 percent increase in rates on outbound van lanes.

Flatbed rates showed the greatest volatility of the three main trucking transportation modes, as rates slipped 0.7 percent on an 8.3 percent decline in freight availability, compared to the prior week. Dallas showed the greatest swing as flatbed rates slid 3.6 percent, following unusually high rates during the previous week.

Spot market rates are rates paid to the carrier by freight brokers and other freight intermediaries.

TransCore’s truckload rate trend of the week is derived from the company’s Truckload Rate Index, based on $17.5 billion annually in actual invoices for vans, reefers and flatbeds across the U.S. and Canada. Additional rate information can be found in TransCore Trendlines.

TransCore Trendlines is published weekly with spot market and contract market rates, and other key indicators from TransCore's U.S. Freight Index. It is based on more than 60 million loads and trucks posted annually on the DAT Network of load boards by freight brokers, 3PLs, shippers and carriers across the U.S. TransCore Trendlines also includes industry data from the American Trucking Associations and the U.S. Department of Energy.