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Current Freight Rates

Current Freight Rates – September 2020

September 16, 2020

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 down. reports only 1 of the 15 markets they track was positive on a week over week basis. Freightwave’s analysts attribute this to the labor day holiday and expect volumes to bounce back quickly. They also are predicting a strong 4th quarter for freight volume as retail inventories are low heading into the holiday season and another round of stimulus payments before the election should increase consumer spending.

September 2020 Freight Rates

Sept 7 – 13 vs Aug 31 – Sept 6 August 2020 vs July 2020 Aug 2020 vs Aug 2019
Spot Market Loads -14.6%
+9.8% +94.0%
Spot Market Capacity -10.1% -6.1% -15.3%
Van Load-To-Truck -8.5% +20.8% +135.4%
Van Rates (Spot) +2.9% +8.9% +22.2%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +3.5% +9.6% +165.1%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +1.7% +4.2% +4.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck -6.8% +26.4% +108.3%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +1.7% +61% +13.8%
Fuel Prices -0.2% -0.2% -19.2%

For more information on DAT products & service visit’s most recent trendlines report is showing van rates are continuing a steady climb.  The September 14th report shows national van rate averages are at $2.37 per mile, a $.15 increase above the August average. According to DAT, the West has the highest average van rates at $2.50 per mile, and the lowest average rates are in the Northeast at $1.92 per mile. According to DAT, load-to-truck ratios are highest in the southwest and central part of the country, and lowest east of the Mississippi river.

Average van freight rates as of September 15, 20202020

Reefer freight rates are averaging $2.58 per mile, a $.14 increase over the August average. Reefer rates are highest in the Midwest, averaging $2.81 per mile, and the lowest rates are in the Northeast, with an average of $2.12 per mile. Current load-to-truck capacity shows reefer demand is highest in the Midwest plains states, the lowest ratios are along the Eastern seaboard.

Average reefer freight rates as of September 15 2020

National average flatbed rates are at $2.37 per mile, an $.08 increase from the August average. The highest average flatbed rates are in the Southeast at $2.50 per mile, and the lowest rates are in the Northeast, with an average of $2.06 per mile. Load-to-truck ratios are highest from the Southeast to Northwest. The lowest are in the New England states. For more details, visit

Average flatbed freight rates as of September 15 2020

TTaking a look at fuel prices, the latest Energy Information Administration data shows the national average diesel price is at $2.42 per gallon. Regional diesel prices range from an average of $2.17 in the gulf coast states to $2.68 in the central Atlantic region. California diesel prices are averaging $3.27 per gallon.

Diesel fuel price map as of September 21, 2020.

Average diesel fuel prices in the US as of September 21, 2020



Change from
09/07/20 09/14/20 09/21/20 Week Ago Year Ago
US 2.435 2.422 2.404 -0.018 -0.677
East Coast (PADD 1) 2.511 2.499 2.486 -0.013 -0.597
New England (PADD 1A) 2.612 2.605 2.601 -0.004 -0.469
Central Atlantic (PADD 1B) 2.689 2.676 2.662 -0.014 -0.590
Lower Atlantic (PADD 1C) 2.370 2.357 2.343 -0.014 -0.628
Midwest (PADD 2) 2.321 2.308 2.282 -0.026 -0.710
Gulf Coast (PADD 3) 2.184 2.172 2.157 -0.015 -0.701
Rocky Mountain (PADD 4) 2.378 2.368 2.348 -0.020 -0.686
West Coast (PADD 5) 2.964 2.955 2.941 -0.014 -0.709
West Coast less California 2.584 2.575 2.557 -0.018 -0.681
California 3.276 3.267 3.257 -0.010 -0.719

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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