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Current Freight Rates

Current Freight Rates – January 2019

January 17, 2019

January Freight Rates

As the New Year begins, national freight demand has dropped and truck capacity has increased. This results in lower rates as is normal this time of year.

January 2019 Freight Rates

Jan 6-12 vs Dec 30-Jan 5 Dec 2018 vs Nov 2018 Dec 2018 vs Dec 2017
Spot Market Loads +8.8% -5.5% -19.0%
Spot Market Capacity +77.0% -11.0% +34.0%
Van Load-To-Truck +48.0% +7.6% -33.0%
Van Rates (Spot) -2.8% -0.5% -2.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck -26.0% +13.0% -41.0%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) -1.6% +0.0% +4.3%
Reefer Load-To-Truck -38.0% -0.3% -49.0%
Reefer Rates (Spot) -2.0% -1.2% -1.6%
Fuel Prices -1.1% -5.4% +7.3%


According to, national Van rate averages dropped $.06 to $2.05 per mile. Rates vary by region with the gulf coast averaging $1.77 per mile and the upper Midwest averaging $2.44 per mile. Load-to-truck ratios are highest in the middle of the country, and lowest it the southwest.

Reefer freight rates also dropped in early January according to The national average reefer rate is at $2.42 per mile, a drop of $.05 over the previous week. Reefer rates are lowest in the Southeast averaging $1.55 per mile, and highest in the upper Midwest, with an average of $3.04 per mile. DAT shows load-to-truck ratios are generally even, with only a few states showing high ratios.

National average flatbed rates have dropped $.04 to $2.42 per mile. The highest average rates are currently in the Northeast, and the lowest is in the southwest. Top areas for load-to-truck ratios are in the Northern Plains states and the gulf coast states.

Turning to fuel prices, the latest Energy Information Administration data shows the national average diesel price is at $2.97 per gallon. Regional diesel prices range from an average of $2.78 in the gulf coast states to $3.21 in the central Atlantic region. California diesel prices are averaging $3.74 per gallon.

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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