2 Signs That the Freight Recession Really Is Over

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Together, the ratio and rates offer strong evidence yet that the freight recession is over. Reefer freight is in transition. Meanwhile, the bulk of California freight has yet to hit the spot market. Projections for Central California produce are still strong for June, so we’re keeping an eye on the Fresno market, but those shipping gaps meant that rates didn’t continue their upward trend on many of the top reefer lanes.

Spot Market Freight Rates Soar After Hurricane Harvey

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Most of the major van markets actually had fewer outbound loads available, though, and most regular freight heading to Houston was canceled. Dallas rates also soared, as some freight was diverted to that busy freight hub. Rates rose in Columbus , as well, as population centers in the Northeast are receiving more freight from that direction. Stockton, CA , showed the least price movement among major freight markets last week, and outbound volumes there were off by 14%.

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Rates and Demand Are Still High for Refrigerated Freight

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Seasonal harvests are winding down, but capacity is still tight for reefer freight. Fresno to Seattle was up 30¢ to $2.80/mile. That’s led to higher reefer rates on the West Coast and in the Midwest. Potato shippers seem to be feeling the effects of the ELD protests that have been scattered across the country.

Spring freight rates: Stable or stuck?

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Refrigerated produce freight has been notably absent from the picture, so that likely has some reefers competing for van freight. DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 256 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $60 billion in real transactions. National Average Freight Rates - April to-date.

Thanksgiving surge boosts reefer prices; van freight heads east

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Reefer $2.45/mile, up 4¢ Flatbed $2.42/mile, down 2¢ DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 279 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $57 billion in real transactions. The map depicts outbound load-to-truck ratios by state, for dry van freight. The main driver of demand continues to be the Los Angeles freight market.

California Reefer Freight Starts to Heat Up

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HOT MARKETS: The biggest changes last week were in California, where reefer freight finally started to move out of Fresno and Sacramento in serious quantities, but load counts fell sharply in L.A. Reefer rates rose 10¢ per mile in June, compared to May, landing at $2.12, the highest monthly average in almost two years. Load availability was up 30% compared to May, and 84% compared to June 2015.

Are High Freight Rates in December the New Normal?

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Both those markets are distribution hubs for e-commerce, which has stretched the traditional holiday retail freight season well into December. A lot of holiday freight heading into the Northeast ends up in distribution centers in Allentown, PA, which has led to higher inbound rates there. Most holiday freight arriving by sea is already here, so the ports are less active than they were in November. Out of California, reefer loads paid less in Ontario and Fresno.

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August Demand Stays Hot for Truck Freight

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Freight out of Columbus is associated with retail traffic. NOT SO HOT – Unfortunately, we still haven’t seen the volume we expected out of Fresno. Load-to-truck ratios declined for vans and flatbeds on DAT load boards last week, but the average ratio rose for reefers. Rates lost a penny per mile for each of the three equipment categories, as a national average. These are still strong rates for this time of year, which bodes well for the rest of the third quarter.

Major Freight Markets Saw Biggest Rate Surge of the Year

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Freight patterns showed increased retail trade ahead of Memorial Day weekend, and since some drivers finished the week up early ahead of the holiday weekend, capacity also tightened. The tighter capacity meant that many shippers had to pay a premium to move freight ahead of the holiday weekend, so outbound rates were up in almost every major van freight market. Central California produce returned in a big way last week, and outbound reefer rates soared 13% in Fresno.

Freight Abounds, but Rates Return to July Levels

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We expected the sizzling hot freight market to cool off a little, and it did. HOT MARKETS - There was an increase in loads moving out of Fresno last week, which is a welcome change. Fresno had been a little disappointing until now, but it may yet produce the post-drought volumes of fruit and vegetables that we’ve been hoping for. Van Freight Abounds, but Rates are Down.

Reefer Freight Market Still Has a Few Hot Spots

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July is the in-between season for refrigerated ("reefer") freight. Freight volume continued to cool off for reefers last week, but some pockets of high demand remain in New Mexico, Arkansas and the Lower Midwest, as shown in this Hot States Map for the week of July 19-25, 2015, below. Outbound rates even lost 6¢ per mile in Fresno, CA, a major reefer market where freight availability was on the upswing last week.

Freight Rates Are Climbing, Especially on These 3 Lanes

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The best news was out of Fresno , where volumes stayed steady from the previous week, even though last week was just a 4-day work week. Outbound rates tumbled in Sacramento , so you’d be better off hauling out of Fresno this time of year. It's not uncommon for us to see a slump in rates after Memorial Day, but that wasn’t the case last week. Spot market rates continued their upward trend after the holiday, and retail shipments boosted prices on a few lanes.

Freight Rates Were Mostly Neutral Ahead of Winter Storm

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That'll no doubt affect freight movements, with trucks banned from some highways in the Northeast while Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Virginia declare states of emergency. Charlotte joined Atlanta as an early leader ahead of the spring freight season, but the story for the past few weeks has been Houston. That includes van freight, but it’s especially true for flatbed. Even the inbound lane from Fresno to Denver fell 23¢ to $1.85/mile.

Truckload Rates Finally Catch Up to Freight Volumes

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That's normal, since it comes right after the end of Q1, when shippers are rushing to move freight before closing their books. Reefer freight has been gaining momentum. Shipments out of the Santa Maria District also pushed rates up out of the Fresno market. Flatbed freight was strong in March, and there was a spike in rates to close the month. Spot market volumes were down during the first week of April.

Truckload Rates Finally Catch Up to Freight Volumes

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That's normal, since it comes right after the end of Q1, when shippers are rushing to move freight before closing their books. Reefer freight has been gaining momentum. Shipments out of the Santa Maria District also pushed rates up out of the Fresno market. Flatbed freight was strong in March, and there was a spike in rates to close the month. Spot market volumes were down during the first week of April.

This Week in Logistics News (April 4-8, 2016)

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MercuryGate Launches Global, Omni-modal Freight Procurement Solution. As reported by Robbie Whelan in the Wall Street Journal : Stifel last week released a report targeting the entire truckload industry, writing that “pricing pressure is rampant in the generic freight market,” which includes most types of trucking services, while railroad carload pricing and freight rates among parcel carriers are on the rise.

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Storms put damper on spot rates

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Despite an increase in freight volumes, national average rates slipped again last week for vans and reefers. DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 256 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $60 billion in real transactions. National Average Freight Rates - April to-date. Fresno to Denver surged 40¢ to $2.24/mi.

Reefers still waiting for spring

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While the Lakeland, FL market was a big winner last week — gaining over 20% more volume — those gains were more than offset by a week-over-week slump in other major reefer markets, including Fresno, Nogales, Boise and much of the Midwest. The Lakeland, FL market had an impressive increase in freight, but Fresno and Nogales both dipped lower and canceled Florida's gains. Lack of freight volume is hurting spot market reefer prices.

This Week in Logistics News (February 4-8, 2013)

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Cass Freight Index Report – January 2013. 2013 is off to a slow start for freight shipments, according to the Cass Freight Index Report for January. Here is an excerpt: Both shipment volume and total freight payments declined significantly from December [2012] to January [2013], as the economy slowed to a near stall. For each of the last two years, freight shipment volumes ended the year at about the same place they began.

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Spring surge delayed again

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Flooding in the Midwest closed roads and rail lines, which will impact freight markets for weeks to come. DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 256 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $60 billion in real transactions. National Average Freight Rates - March to-date. Fresno to Seattle gained 17¢ to $2.57/mi.

California's Weather Impacts Truckload Capacity

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Mark Montague's recent blog post Top Ten Freight Markets for Contract and Spot Freight , revealed that the key market areas of Ontario and Fresno, California made the list of 2016 Top 10 Reefer Markets for both contract and spot market freight. The demand for reefers impacts van capacity too, as reefers often haul van freight in the slow season until they’re pulled away by the increased demand—and prices—of refrigerated freight.

Reefer rates rise as Florida hits its stride

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Freight volumes surged about 25% out of both Miami and Lakeland, FL, and some lanes about of Florida saw rates jump as much as 85¢ per mile. DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 256 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $60 billion in real transactions. Fresno to Denver fell 15¢ to $2.32/mi.

Reefer Demand Spikes During Inspection Blitz

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Refrigerated freight was met with tight capacity last week, with the annual Roadcheck inspection blitz taking many trucks off the road. There was a big surge in reefer freight out of Elizabeth, NJ, though rates haven't responded yet. We did get the expected bump in rates out of Fresno though, and California produce shipments are expected to remain strong at least until the 4th of July.

Reefer rates hit lull between holidays

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Reefer activity picked up after Thanksgiving, but not nearly as much as dry van freight. DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 279 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $57 billion in real transactions. Fresno to Baltimore fell 29¢ at $2.41/mile.

Spot Market Reefer Rates Hit a 3-Year High

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Lately, the spot market for refrigerated freight has looked a lot more like June than November. Fresh produce often drives the demand for reefer freight, and this year, wet fields and high summer temps led to late planting and lower yields out of California. Now, reefer freight seems to be everywhere. On average, outbound lanes from Fresno, CA , soared 13%. Last week, the national average reefer rate hit $2.40 per mile, its highest mark in 3 years.

Reefer Capacity Gets Tighter Ahead of Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so trucks are still in high demand to move refrigerated freight. Just like with dry van freight , reefer capacity tightened in the first week of November, meaning that shippers and brokers had a harder time finding trucks to move those reefer loads. The overall picture was a bit more mixed than with van freight, though, where rates were up pretty much across the board.

Spring Produce Season: Where Are Reefers Needed?

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DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 179 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $45 billion in real transactions. Reefer load counts were up in Sacramento , while outbound rates popped out of Fresno. Spring produce has gotten off to a slow start this year.

Reefer volumes gearing up for fall holidays

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Even though rates are slow to respond, freight volumes are rising as we get closer to the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. Most parts of California are shipping more loads, especially the Fresno market in central California. Changes in the ratio often signal impending changes in freight rates. Activity is also up from the Nogales, AZ, market, as well as Florida and South Texas. Offsetting this are declines out of Atlanta, Grand Rapids and Sacramento.

Reefer Demand Focuses on the Midwest

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More loads left Fresno last week, too, but the volume hasn’t been high enough to change pricing very much. per mile, as freight volume out of Southern California continues to drop. The national average for reefer rates stayed put at $2.07 per mile last week, but pricing got rearranged by region. The dark areas on the Hot States Map above are areas where the load-to-truck ratio is highest for reefers. As you can see, demand for reefers continues to accelerate in the Midwest.

Delayed Produce Could Lead to a Busy May

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Van load counts were already up big last week, with an uptick in freight moving out of L.A. Out of California , volumes were flat, with higher load counts out of the Fresno area offset by declines farther south. Outbound averages fell in N ogales and Fresno , but that had more to do with a change in where the freight was going. The end of the month didn’t bring the upward bump that we typically see when shippers try to move goods before closing their books.

Rates Rise in Major Markets During Inspection Blitz

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Retail freight is driving rates up in Memphis and Columbus , especially on lanes heading into the Northeast. Reefer freight is also looking up , but geographic shifts are underway. Things are heating up in California, with lots of loads rolling out of Fresno , and a big rebound under way in Sacramento. Prices surged in the major van markets last week, despite the fact that the national average van rate dipped 1¢ per mile.

Van and Reefer Rates Drop, in Mid-July Lull

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Load availability and rates dropped from the previous week, but rates are still well above June averages for van and reefer freight. For example, look for rates to rise in Fresno instead of L.A. , Reefer freight volume declined last week, and rates adjusted after a surprising spike right after the 4th of July. Reefer freight volume is building in Fresno , so look for rates to trend up there, even as volume and rates decline in L.A.

Vans and Reefers Have a Friend in California

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Shippers and freight brokers are singing a Merle Haggard classic this week, to their van and reefer BFFs: "L.A. Van fleets are singing a song about California, where freight is strong and getting stronger. Fresno and Sacramento have lots of loads, too. There were a lot of loads available in California, though, especially outbound from Los Angeles, Fresno , and Ontario , which is the gateway to the "inland empire" of agricultural markets in the Imperial and Coachella Valleys.

Florida Reefer Rates Take a Dive

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DAT load boards provides the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 179 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $45 billion in real transactions. In California, volume and rates revved up for reefers in Los Angeles , and prices rose for outbound reefer loads in nearby Ontario , as well as the Fresno and Sacramento markets.

Will Tighter ELD Enforcement = Tighter Reefer Capacity?

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DAT provides the largest and most trusted digital freight marketplace in the trucking industry, with more than 179 million loads and trucks posted annually, plus insights into current spot market and contract rates based on $45 billion in real transactions. Out of California , Fresno outbound pricing jumped 4.4% Reefer rates usually dip around Easter, when the urgency to get fresh shipments into stores before the holiday fades. That wasn't the case last week, though.