It looks like spot truckload freight volumes continued to increase during the week of May 26. Moreover, improving van and refrigerated load-to-truck ratios contributed to higher rates on major lanes. This data comes courtesy of DAT Solutions which controls the industry’s most expansive network of load boards.
These numbers are encouraging, however, the national average spot rates didn’t budge compared to the previous week. On the other hand, there was excellent news for reefer carriers as a bump in shipments in advance of Memorial Day weekend raised rates on 44 of the top 72 reefer lanes. In fact, the national average reefer load-to-truck ratio leaped from 2.6 to 2.9, equal to where it was during the first week of May.
In the Central Valley of California rates are building steadily. It looks like they will soon arrive at the usual June peak. It looks like rising reefer volumes resulted in higher rates on lanes from Sacramento, California and Fresno, California.
There is some bad news, however, as the week of rain leading into Memorial Day decimated this year’s cherry crop, which prior to, had been estimated at 10 million cartons. According to the California Farm Bureau, growers anticipate losing nearly two-thirds of that amount. See, an excess of rain near harvest can make cherries split down the side or along the stem. This makes them basically no good to sell.
In this space, rates were stronger on 54 of the top 100 van lanes as opposed to the previous week. Furthermore, the national van average load-to-truck ratio rose from 1.6 to 1.8. It should be noted that these figures remain below expectations for this time of the year.