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Current Freight Rates

Current Freight Rates – February 2021

February 18, 2021

The four elements that affect the trucking market show inbound container shipments are up. Load volume is down, truck capacity is up, and fuel prices are up. The anomaly between container shipments and load volume is due to a lack of container space. is reporting a slight drop in their Outbound Tender Volume Index. However, increased consumer spending is a bright spot for the coming months as more areas ease Covid restrictions.

Nine of the 15 benchmark freight markets tracked by Freightwaves were positive on a week-over-week basis. The markets with the top gains were Newark, NJ, Cleveland, OH, and Laredo, TX. Markets with the biggest drops were Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Miami.

February 19, 2021 – Courtesy of DAT Trendlines 

February 2021 Freight Rates

Feb 08 – Feb 14 vs Feb 01 – Feb 07 Jan 2021 vs Dec 2020 Jan 2021 vs Jan 2020
Spot Market Loads +15.6%
-0.4% +67.9%
Spot Market Capacity -3.4% -2.8% -18.3%
Van Load-To-Truck +29.1% -11.7% +92.0%
Van Rates (Spot) +2.8% -4.1% +25.7%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +7.4% +19.3% +180.9%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +2.0% +0.4% +14.7%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +28.2% -4.3% +54.4%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +3.0% -2.5% +16.2%
Fuel Prices +2.3% +3.7% -12.0%

For more information on DAT products & service visit reports truckload rates continue the seasonal decline. DAT’s February 16th Trendlines Report shows national van rate averages are at $2.29 per mile, a $.07 decrease from the January average. According to DAT, the Midwest has the highest average van rates at $2.60 per mile. The lowest average rates are in the Northeast at $2.10 per mile. DAT reports load-to-truck ratios are highest in the Northern Rockies and plains states. The lowest load-to-truck ratios are in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest.

Dry Van freight rates as of February 15, 2021

Reefer freight rates are averaging $2.57 per mile, a $.04 decrease from the January average. Reefer rates are highest in the Midwest, averaging $2.98 per mile, and the lowest rates are in the Southeast, with an average of $2.25 per mile. Current load-to-truck capacity shows reefer demand is highest in the Plains states and Mississippi River states, the lowest ratios are in the Southeast and Southwest states.

reefer freight rates of February 15, 2021

National average flatbed rates are at $2.49 per mile, the same as the January average. The Midwest has the highest average flatbed rates at $2.91 per mile; the lowest rates are in the West, with an average of $2.13 per mile. Load-to-truck ratios remain high throughout most of the country. For more details, visit

Average flatbed freight rates as of February 15, 2021

Turning to fuel prices, the latest Energy Information Administration data shows the national average diesel price is at $2.88 per gallon, an $.18 increase from one month ago. Regional diesel prices range from $2.63 in the gulf coast states to $3.05 in the central Atlantic region. California diesel prices are averaging $3.64 per gallon.

*Diesel fuel price map as of February 19, 2021.

Average US diesel fuel prices as of February 21, 2021



Change from
02/01/21 02/08/21 02/15/21 Week Ago Year Ago
US 2.738 2.801 2.876 +0.075 -0.014
East Coast (PADD 1) 2.791 2.845 2.898 +0.053 -0.042
New England (PADD 1A) 2.796 2.840 2.888 +0.048 -0.182
Central Atlantic (PADD 1B) 2.964 3.005 3.052 +0.047 -0.071
Lower Atlantic (PADD 1C) 2.675 2.740 2.789 +0.058 -0.005
Midwest (PADD 2) 2.676 2.748 2.852 +0.104 -0.095
Gulf Coast (PADD 3) 2.500 2.566 2.627 +0.061 -0.031
Rocky Mountain (PADD 4) 2.641 2.699 2.787 +0.088 -0.071
West Coast (PADD 5) 3.199 3.258 3.328 +0.070 -0.140
West Coast less California 2.841 2.897 2.960 +0.063 -0.121
3.497 3.558 3.635 +0.077 -0.139

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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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