DAT Solutions: Reefer freight starts producing

Special to Land Line | Thursday, May 05, 2016

The number of available spot market loads jumped 9 percent during the final week of April, according to DAT Solutions, which operates the OOIDA MembersEdge load board.

Despite increased demand for trucks and a 2 percent drop in posted capacity, national average spot truckload rates were generally unchanged across all three equipment types during the week ending April 30. 

Let’s take a closer look at the good, the bad and the spot market takeaway of the week:

The good
The national average refrigerated spot rate was up a penny to $1.79 a mile as early harvests in California and late produce shipments in the Southeast helped boost available freight.

In Florida, volumes and rates surged. Miami – the top market for reefer loads on MembersEdge – rose 29 cents to an average of $2.29 a mile while Lakeland was up 27 cents to $1.63 and was the No. 3 market for available freight in the Southeast.

Reefer rates are soaring on outbound lanes that connect Miami and Lakeland to distribution centers in Atlanta, the Northeast and Midwest:

Miami to Elizabeth, N.J., spiked 42 cents and paid $2.19 a mile on average
Miami to Atlanta paid 38 cents better at $1.79 a mile
Lakeland to Atlanta rose 51 cents to $1.72 a mile
Lakeland to Chicago was up 30 cents to $1.54 a mile

The bad
The national average van rate was unchanged for the third consecutive week at $1.50 per mile and rates continue to sag in the Northeast and the Midwest.

Philadelphia was the low-paying market in the Northeast, off 3 cents to an average of $1.67 a mile. The region’s high market – Allentown at $2.29 a mile – was down 8 cents with several outbound lanes showing weakness. Allentown to Boston dropped 14 cents to $2.71 a mile, while Allentown to Chicago fell 1 cent to $1.01.

In Chicago, van traffic is low, rates are down and neither one is turning around. The average rate on the lane from Chicago to Allentown lost 14 cents to $1.89 a mile.

The takeaway
With produce shipments keeping reefers busy, there is added demand for vans since carriers with reefers aren’t competing for the van loads.

Three of the top five markets for van loads were in Texas. Houston was No. 2, while Dallas and Laredo were 4 and 5. Van activity is also trending up in the Southeast and some parts of California.

You’ll find more information about load availability and rates at OOIDA’s MyMembersEdge.com, and listen in each Wednesday to Land Line Now for more talk about opportunities on the MembersEdge load board.

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