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Current Freight Rates

Current Freight Rates – May 2021

May 13, 2021

The four elements that affect the trucking market show inbound container shipments are up. Load volume is up, truck capacity is down, and fuel prices are up.

Cass Information Systems has released their April Transportation Index Report. Cass states the shipments component of their index grew a record 27.6% year over year. The Cass Truckload Linehaul Index is at 146.5 which is an all-time high. Cass reports continuing strong freight demand and lack of truck capacity should keep rates high for the near future.

May 11, 2021 – Courtesy of DAT Trendlines 

May 2021 Freight Rates

May 03 – May 09 vs Apr 26 – May 02 Apr 2021 vs Mar 2021 Apr 2021 vs Apr 2020
Spot Market Loads +15.4%
-4.3% +577.3%
Spot Market Capacity -14.7% -0.9% -17.0%
Van Load-To-Truck +56.5% -17.2% +386.1%
Van Rates (Spot) +5.4% -2.4% +58.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +13.4% +14.4% +1690.3%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +2.9% +6.4% +52.0%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +77.3% -18.8% +475.4%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +6.2% -0.5% +51.8%
Fuel Prices +0.6% -0.7% +25.6%

For more information on DAT products & service visit reports truckload rates remain steady. DAT’s May 11th Trendlines Report shows current national van rate averages are at $2.69 per mile, a $.10 increase from the April average. According to DAT, the Midwest has the highest average van rates at $2.79 per mile. The lowest average rates are in the Northeast at $2.33 per mile.

DAT reports the current national load-to-truck ratio is 7.82 loads to truck, compared to the April average of 4.87. Ratios are high throughout the southern half of the country. The lowest ratios are in the upper Midwest states.

Dry Van freight rates as of May 10, 2021

Reefer freight rates are averaging $3.11 per mile, up $.18 from the April average. Reefer rates are highest in the Midwest, averaging $3.16 per mile, and the lowest rates are in the Northeast, with an average of $2.54 per mile.

National reefer capacity is at 19.25 loads to truck, compared to the April 18th average of 9.89. Current load-to-truck capacity shows reefer demand is high in Southern and Western states. The lowest ratios are in the Midwest states.

Reefer freight rates of May 11, 2021

National average flatbed rates are currently averaging $3.06 per mile, a $.12 increase from the April average. The Midwest has the highest average flatbed rates at $3.31 per mile; the lowest rates are in the West, with an average of $2.56 per mile.

Nationally, load-to-truck ratios are at 116.82, compared to 102.82 in April. Load ratios remain high throughout most of the country. For more details, visit

Average flatbed freight rates as of May 11, 2021

Turning to fuel prices, the latest Energy Information Administration data shows the national average diesel price is at $3.19 per gallon, a $.06 increase from one month ago. Regional diesel prices range from $2.97 in the gulf coast states to $3.34 in the central Atlantic region. California diesel prices are averaging $4.01 per gallon.

*Diesel fuel price map as of May 10, 2021.

Average flatbed freight rates as of April 13, 2021

Change from
04/26/21 05/03/21 05/10/21 Week Ago Year Ago
US 3.124 3.142 3.186 +0.044 +0.792
East Coast (PADD 1) 3.093 3.113 3.160 +0.047 +0.662
New England (PADD 1A) 3.080 3.084 3.115 +0.031 +0.485
Central Atlantic (PADD 1B) 3.268 3.285 3.336 +0.051 +0.656
Lower Atlantic (PADD 1C) 2.980 3.004 3.051 +0.047 +0.703
Midwest (PADD 2) 3.058 3.085 3.130 +0.045 +0.890
Gulf Coast (PADD 3) 2.917 2.924 2.968 +0.044 +0.790
Rocky Mountain (PADD 4) 3.228 3.250 3.307 +0.057 +0.961
West Coast (PADD 5) 3.651 3.664 3.692 +0.028 +0.792
West Coast less California 3.250 3.282 3.313 +0.031 +0.756
California 3.986 3.983 4.008 +0.025 +0.826

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For more information on current freight trends, as well as up-to-date news about the trucking industry, visit the trucking news and information page.

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Current freight trends

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