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Current Freight Rates

Current Freight Rates – January 2020

January 15, 2020

The four major elements affecting the trucking market show inbound container shipments are down. Load volume is up. Truck capacity is down, and fuel prices are holding steady.

January 2020 Freight Rates

Jan 06 – 12 vs Dec 30 – Jan 05 Dec 2019 vs Nov 2019 Dec 2019 vs Dec 2018
Spot Market Loads +57.6%
+30.2% +25.1%
Spot Market Capacity +49.5% -10.7% +6.4%
Van Load-To-Truck -2.2% +45.9% +32.4%
Van Rates (Spot) -0.6% +6.1% -7.1%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +42.5% +60.1% -18.0%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.4% +2.5% -11.2%
Reefer Load-To-Truck -19.7% +37.7% +36.0%
Reefer Rates (Spot) -2.9% +5.5% -6.3%
Fuel Prices +0.3% -0.5% -2.2%

*source has just released their latest trend lines report, showing rates continue to stay at a 13 month high.  The report shows national van rate averages are at $1.96 per mile, up nine cents from the December average. According to DAT, the Midwest has the highest average van rates at $2.27 per mile, and the lowest average rates are in the Northeast at $1.80 per mile. Load-to-truck ratios are highest in the upper Midwest and northern Rockies and lowest in the Pacific Northwest.January 2020 US van freight average rates


Reefer freight rates are averaging $2.31 per mile, an eight cent increase from one month ago. Midwest reefer rates are highest at $2.77 per mile, and lowest in the Northeast, with an average of $2.03 per mile. Current load-to-truck capacity shows reefer demand is highest in the Upper Midwest and lowest on the West coast.January 2020 US average reefer freight rates


National average flatbed rates are at $2.36 per mile; an increase of 19 cents from the December average. The highest average flatbed rates are in the Midwest, at $2.45 per mile, and the lowest are in the West, with an average of $1.96 per mile. Load-to-truck ratios are strongest in the Northern plains and Rockies, the weakest ratios are in the Southwest.January 2020 average flatbed freight rates in the United States


Looking at fuel prices, the latest Energy Information Administration data shows the national average diesel price is at $3.06 per gallon. Regional diesel prices range from an average of $2.81 in the gulf coast states, to $3.29 in the central Atlantic region. California diesel prices are averaging $3.87 per gallon.

January 13 2020 National Average Diesel Fuel Rates


Change from
12/30/19 01/06/20 01/13/20 Week Ago Year Ago
US 3.069 3.079 3.064 -0.015 +0.088
East Coast (PADD 1) 3.096 3.120 3.111 -0.009 +0.062
New England (PADD 1A) 3.114 3.127 3.131 +0.004 -0.077
Central Atlantic (PADD 1B) 3.271 3.294 3.291 -0.003 +0.074
Lower Atlantic (PADD 1C) 2.975 3.000 2.984 -0.016 +0.081
Midwest (PADD 2) 2.978 2.977 2.965 -0.012 +0.142
Gulf Coast (PADD 3) 2.808 2.828 2.810 -0.018 +0.022
Rocky Mountain (PADD 4) 3.113 3.100 3.065 -0.035 +0.078
West Coast (PADD 5) 3.623 3.616 3.593 -0.023 +0.122
West Coast less California 3.274 3.264 3.241 -0.023 +0.111
California 3.899 3.895 3.872 -0.023 +0.130

One of the biggest concerns facing many fleet operators right now is the shortage of drivers. For information on how to recruit and retain drivers in today’s market, visit the trucking blog at and search “drivers”. Some recent articles include Recruiting Truck Drivers by Going Outside the Box, and Recruiting and Keeping Drivers.

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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