TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index Reports Upward Trend in March for Reefers, Vans and Flatbeds

PORTLAND, Ore.-- Following a three-month decline, truckload rates for refrigerated (“reefer”) vans increased 2.2 percent on the spot market in March compared to February, according to TransCore’s Truckload Rate Index. Compared to March 2010, rates for this segment increased 2.9 percent ($.04/mile). Spot market rates are those paid by freight brokers and third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to the carrier.

Outbound lanes originating in Chicago and Dallas warmed up the reefer rates, which typically rise along with reefer freight volume during the early Spring produce season. This year’s severe winter weather delayed or reduced produce shipments, particularly from California.

Reefer rates increased gradually throughout the month, while van and flatbed rates on the spot market rose during the first week of March and remained stable through the rest of the month. Van rates were up 4 percent, while flatbed rates rose 2.5 percent compared to February.

A more detailed analysis of weekly truckload rate trends can be found on TransCore Trendlines.

TransCore’s truckload rate trend of the week is derived from the company’s Truckload Rate Index, based on $4 billion in actual invoices updated daily for vans, reefers and flatbeds across the U.S. and Canada. The truckload rate trend of the week is a feature of TransCore Trendlines, published weekly with key indicators from TransCore's U.S. Freight Index. The Index is based on more than 60 million loads and trucks listed annually 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.