TransCore: Van Rates Decline Slowly, Reefer Rates Stabilize

PORTLAND, Ore.-- Dry van truckload rates dipped 0.8 percent nationwide in the seven days ending August 24. Over the past five weeks, rates have declined 3.7 percent for the primary trucking segment, according to TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index.

Van rates fluctuated in certain regions during the week, continuing trends that began in July. Rates have been rising in key Midwestern markets, with the greatest week-over-week increase in Columbus. Rates in the Southeast continue to decline from their seasonal peaks of May and June; Atlanta, Memphis, and Charlotte were among the markets with declining rates.

Refrigerated (“reefer”) van rates remained stable nationwide over the past week, despite a substantial 3.9% increase in load availability on the spot market. Typically, an increase in demand leads to an uptick in rates, especially during produce seasons when refrigerated van capacity is scarce.

Flatbed rates also remained stable for the week but they are 2.2 percent below July’s average. This is the first sign of softening rates in the flatbed segment, where rates increased steadily from January through July. While flatbed capacity is still tight, load volume declined 7.7 percent week over week, as recorded on TransCore’s DAT Network of load boards. However, rates increased last week in a small number of major markets, including Chicago and Atlanta.

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.