Freight rates on the spot market, along with the number of loads available, have hit their typical seasonal slump, according to new figures released from the freight-matching service provider DAT.
The average reefer rate posted the biggest decline July 20 through July 26 compared to the previous seven days, falling 1.7% to $2.36 per mile. It was followed by vans declining 1.4% to $2.07 per mile, while flatbeds lost 1.2% at $2.44 per mile, both remaining relatively strong, while all are at lows of four weeks or more.
This happened as spot market capacity increased 4.7% while the number of available loads declined 3.5%.
Load to truck ratios were down across the board, with the biggest decline, 10%, happening the flatbed sector, with 31.9 loads per truck, It was followed by vans falling 8.6% to 2.7 loads per truck and reefers down 2.9% to 7.9 loads per truck.
Despite the downturn in rates for temperature controlled freight, DAT Analyst Mark Montague wrote in the company’s Freight Talk Blog there are still good hauling opportunities for produce until late in the year, if you know where to look.
For instance, there is Texas in August. “McAllen is a year-round market, as a locale where produce is not only grown, but also imported and distributed, so even when it's between harvests, freight is widely available and the load-to-truck ratio is a respectable 3.9,” he wrote. “Activity should be picking up soon in Amarillo, Fort Worth and Lubbock, too, as shipments of meat and related products head to grocery store shelves nationwide in time for summer barbecues and back-to-school lunches.”