If you just look at the national average reefer rate, you’d think things were quiet for reefer last week. The rate was up to $1.87/mile, which is only 1¢ higher than the February average. Rough weather this past winter delayed a lot of produce shipments in California, which has had ripple effects on the national picture. But California crops are beginning to move now, and other markets throughout the country saw some big rate swings last week.

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Rising

Did you know that California ships 87% of the strawberries in the U.S.? Shipments started out of Santa Mariain late February, and Ventura County is gearing up for peak shipping season. The Salinas / Watsonville area in the San Francisco market is also getting underway, with everyone trying to move those berries in time for Easter. Hopefully that'll start to turn California darker in the Hot States Map above, maybe as soon as next week.

  • Cross-border volumes surged in Nogales, AZ, last week
  • The lane from Dallas to Columbus, OH, jumped up 33¢ to $2.02/mile
  • Miami had more reefer freight last week, which pulled trucks away from Central Florida. The tighter capacity led to a 21¢ spike on the lane from Lakeland to Charlotte at $1.68/mile
  • Fresno to Denver is still well below summer pricing, but it picked up 21¢ to $2.14/mile

Falling

Western Michigan is a major egg producer, and those are shipping in large numbers ahead of Easter. Eggs are usually cheap freight, though. They’re fragile, but they don’t require much more than minimal cooling. They are to reefers what mulch is to vans.

  • So even though volumes spiked on the lane from Grand Rapids to Cleveland, reefer rates tumbled 81¢ to $2.52/mile
  • Denver to Houston had a quick rise in the previous week, then fell back down 28¢ to $1.49/mile
  • Miami volumes were up, but there was no trouble finding trucks on the lane to Baltimore, so rates there dropped 14¢
  • Reduced competition from reefers helped boost the load-to-truck ratio for vans in Miami, so rates there started rising by the end of last week.

Freightliner’s Team Run Smart is partnering with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.net/promo717 or entering “promo717” during sign up
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This article was originally featured on DAT's Truckers Edge.

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About Matt Sullivan

Matt Sullivan is the editor of DAT Carrier News. He has more than 10 years of journalism experience.

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